Montgomerie easily repeats as Senior PGA champion

French Lick, IN ( - Colin Montgomerie closed with a 3-under 69 Sunday and easily won his second straight Senior PGA Championship title.

Montgomerie finished four strokes clear of the field at 8-under-par 280 on the Pete Dye Course at French Lick Resort.

"If there was a difference, patience, I suppose," said Montgomerie. "A lot of the field started off thinking this was so difficult a golf course, which it of course it was. And that played into my hands because I played for the media day that we did a month ago and from today I enjoyed the course, and I think if you enjoy coming onto a golf course, you play quite well. I enjoyed this layout."

The win was Montgomerie's third major championship win on the Champions Tour after failing to win a single one on the PGA Tour. He was runner-up five times in major championships on the PGA Tour. He is the first player to make his first three Champions Tour wins all majors since Jack Nicklaus did the same in 1990-91.

"I'm just making up for lost time," joked Montgomerie. "I spent 22 proper years trying to do this and three have come at the one time, and it's a fantastic time I'm having. The American crowd have embraced me and I've embraced them. I'm having fun out here, and I think that's what its all about."

Esteban Toledo also closed with a 69 to finish alone in second at minus-4. Woody Austin posted a 3-under 69 of his own to grab third at 3-under-par 285.

Scott Verplank and Brian Henninger both closed with 71s and shared fourth at 2-under-par 286. They were the final players in red figures.

Bernhard Langer stumbled to a 2-over 74 on Sunday and dipped into sixth place at even-par 288.

Montgomerie tripped to a bogey at the first and that trimmed his lead to two over Toledo, who had birdied the first in the group ahead.

Toledo rolled in a 4-footer for birdie at the par-5 fifth to inch within one. Montgomerie answered at No. 5 as he got up and down for birdie. Toledo again got within one with a kick-in birdie at seven.

Montgomerie responded with a 7-foot birdie putt at the seventh. And that kicked off a hot stretch of golf that helped Montgomerie pull away.

The Scotsman birdied the ninth from just over 10 feet out. He made it two in a row with a 4-foot birdie try at the 10th. That moved Montgomerie to 8-under, where he was four clear of Toledo and Henninger.

Henninger faltered to a double-bogey at 12 and fell six back.

Montgomerie chipped to four feet at the 12th and rolled that in for birdie to push his lead over Toledo to five. Montgomerie found some fescue grass at the 15th and hacked across the fairway into the left rough.

That led to a bogey, but Montgomerie quickly erased that mistake. He spun his third to the par-5 16th to three feet and knocked that in for birdie. A closing bogey trimmed Montgomerie's winning margin to four.

Toledo, who birdied three of the first seven holes, capped his round with 11 consecutive pars.

"I put a little pressure on the front. I missed a little putt on nine and then missing the putt on No. 10, I think it kind of slipped away on 10. Happy about my finish though," Toledo said.

NOTES: Montgomerie has six top-10 finishes in 10 Champions Tour starts this season ... Montgomerie earned $495,000 for the win ... Montgomerie and Langer have combined to win five of the last six major championships on the Champions Tour ... After a week off, the tour returns to action in Iowa with the Principal Charity Classic, where Tom Pernice, Jr. won last year.