In 2005, Colin Montgomerie, at the age of 42, recovered brilliantly from a slump in form which had seen him slip to 83rd in the world at the start of the year to win a record eighth European Order of Merit title.
In his peak years Montgomerie had dominated the European Tour, winning the Order of Merit in seven successive years from 1993 to 1999, but he had not won a tournament since the Caltex Masters in March 2004.
Montgomerie’s recovery was sparked by his performance in the Open Championship at St Andrews in July 2005. He could not reel in the eventual winner Tiger Woods, but his second place finish was his best result in a major championship in eight years. Montgomerie received enormous support from the home crowd, but he could not match his fine long game with success on the greens. Afterwards he said: “My career had been dipping and it's nice to be back in this theatre."
It sparked a golden autumn for Montgomerie. In October he returned to St Andrews to win the prestigious dunhill links championship, giving the ecstatic Old Course galleries a day to remember after he overturned a five shot deficit for the first time in his career on the European Tour to win by one shot. And he celebrated his return to the summit of golf with a record eighth European Order of Merit title after finishing joint third at the Volvo Masters in Valderrama.