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Len Ziehm On Golf

SR. PGA: Is Montgomerie on the brink of a breakthrough?

BENTON HARBOR, MI. – Scotland’s Colin Montgomerie is in the World Golf Hall of Fame, but he has yet to win a tournament in the United States. That could change Sunday when he takes a one-shot lead over Germany’s Bernhard Langer into the final round of the 75th PGA Championship at Harbor Shores.

Montgomerie and Langer will be playing together for the fourth straight day in the climax to the second major tourney of the season on the Champions Tour.

The difference in their status after 54 holes came off Montgomerie’s 30-foot downhill putt on the final hole of Saturday’s round. It gave Montgomerie a 68 and three-round total of 7-under-par 206. Langer shot 69.

Montgomerie was a Ryder Cup star for Europe and a runner-up in three U.S. Opens, one British Open and one PGA Championship. This year he opted to join the 50-and-over circuit rather than play the European PGA Tour, his home circuit throughout his pro career.

“I came here to enjoy myself,’’ said Montgomerie. “The last five years on the European Tour weren’t as enjoyable as it is here. I’m on the Champions Tour now and loving it.’’

That’ll be underscored next month when he comes back from Scotland for his next tournament — the Encompass Championship at North Shore Country Club in Glenview.

“I hear that course is lovely,’’ said Montgomerie, “and Mike Galeski, the tournament director, runs a great show. He was with Callaway when I was with them, so I look forward to playing in his tournament.’’

Montgomerie isn’t as excited about going head-to-head with the slow-moving Langer in the final round of the Senior PGA.

“I’ve known Bernhard for 30 yards, and I’ll enjoy it,’’ said Montgomerie, “but playing with Bernhard is different. You have to adjust your own pace. There’s no sense rushing with Bernhard.’’