Date: November 26, 2007

Monty hails Warr hero

Colin Montgomerie lavished praise upon team-mate Marc Warren after the pair secured Scotland&aposs first-ever World Cup victory at Mission Hills. The Scots edged a thrilling play-off on the 18th hole of the Olazabal course against Boo Weekley and Heath Slocum of the United States, making par on the third extra hole to clinch the win. Scotland was in the clubhouse at six-under – a 25-under 263 for the tournament – before the US pair birdied the 18th to tie for the lead and force the play-off. It had initially looked bad when Montgomerie teed off into a bunker on the first extra hole and Warren compounded to send his approach shot into another bunker close to the flag. Montgomerie chipped out but the ball fell short of the pin leaving Warren with a tricky task to putt from 10 feet. However, the 26-year-old remained calm and collected to sink the crucial putt for par and force a second extra hole. “What a putt he holed,” said Montgomerie. “We were out, I had hit a terrible drive, a terrible bunker shot, and it is amazing what a good putt can do.” “From then on I thought we were favourites, going back to 18 again and we did very well.” “We are very proud of each other and I expect Marc to progress hugely in the world of golf.” “I thank him for his play this week and look forward to seeing Marc Warren in many of these ceremonies in the years to come.” Warren, who earlier this year won the Johnnie Walker Championship, was equally complimentary of his playing partner. The duo first played together at the World Cup in Barbados last year, that time suffering play-off heartache at the hands of Germany. “To have the opportunity to play with a golfer who has been there, seen it and done it all is an honour for me,” said Warren. “He is a person I can learn from, I have learnt again this week and I am sure next time I play with him I will learn again.” “He is a great player and a great person to boot, someone I thoroughly enjoy being around – a person who likes to win and really that is what this game is all about.” The defeat was no doubt disappointing for the United States, who had deservedly led in all three previous rounds. But, regardless, it was a fine effort from a side that, with the worlds 43rd and 70th-ranked players in Weekley and Slocum, were not expected to mount too much of a challenge. “It was a great week,” said Weekley. “It is an honour to be able to come over here and represent your country and play.” “We were not even supposed to be here and that is even more of a bonus.” “We feel disappointed with how we finished but it was a great week.” France&aposs Raphael Jacquelin and Gregory Havret, who had forced themselves into contention with a fine second-round score, fell just short as they carded a five-under-par 67 and a 24-under 264 for the tournament to claim third place. Justin Rose and Ian Poulter, playing for the first time together at the World Cup, had kept England in contention throughout the tournament but were unable to make a genuine challenge for the trophy on the final day. Though Rose putted for an eagle on the ninth, two bogeys on the front nine proved damaging as they finished fourth, completing their round in five-under for a 23-under-par 265 total. “Bogeying the third was a kick in the teeth,” said Poulter. “I hit a poor three-wood and it came up short in the hazard.” “Justin hit a great recovery shot but it hit the pin and span off the green.” “We bounced back well and shot five under for the last 10 holes but we came up short.” South Africa&aposs Retief Goosen and Trevor Immelman combined for a three-under-par 69 to claim fifth place while Sweden, who shot an impressive two eagles in their round, finished tied for sixth along with the Netherlands, Germany and Argentina. The Australian pairing of Nick O&aposHern and Nathan Green finished 21st overall after a one-over final-round saw them finish at nine-under. New Zealand&aposs Stephen Scahill and Richard Lee were 27th of the 28 teams at one-under, just one stroke ahead of last-placed Colombia.