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Monty uses abuse to play better
by Tim Dahlberg

SUTTON COLDFIELD, England (AP) ? The more abuse he got, the more determined Colin Montgomerie became. Sometimes at the Ryder Cup, it's not just the friendly crowds that get a player going. That was certainly the case for Montgomerie in the last Ryder Cup, when rowdy fans fueled by a lot of beer seemed to delight in heckling the Scotsman with the fiery temper.

Montgomerie responded by going 3-1-1, adding to an already impressive Ryder Cup resume.

"The more it went on, the more I took on a role of 'I don't want to lose,"' Montgomerie said. "And when I'm in that position, I fight like I never have before."

Teaming with fellow Scot Paul Lawrie, Montgomerie helped fuel the early European landslide by going 2-1-1 in team play.

On Sunday, he faced Payne Stewart and about 35,000 rabid fans at Brookline, Mass., and he didn't back down even as his teammates were getting routed.

Out of the frenzy came a gesture by Stewart that Montgomerie will always be grateful for.

The Montgomerie-Stewart match went to the 18th hole, with Montgomerie 1-up. But Justin Leonard's long putt on the 17th hole had clinched the cup for the American team and the final hole really didn't matter.

In a gesture of sportsmanship, Stewart conceded a long putt to Montgomerie on the final hole to allow the Scot to win.

"He'd had enough, I had enough, and he picked my ball up at the last. I'll never forget that," Montgomerie said. "And I look back on Brookline with memories, they're not all fond. But that match I will always think of with fond memories, of that game with him."

Even with his success in the face of adversity, Montgomerie hopes the crowds will be pulling for him at The Belfry.

"It just happens that it was a negative part of the crowd that I turned into a positive for myself," he said. "And hopefully, that negative part of the crowd will not be here this year. And if they are, well, let's hope they're here for a very short time."


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