Golfer Monty joins seniors at 50

Colin Montgomerie has confirmed he will make his debut among the ranks of the seniors at The Senior Open Championship to be played at Royal Birkdale from July 25-28.

The Scot, who on Sunday turned 50, the minimum age for competing on the seniors tour, won a record eight European Tour Order of Merit titles, including a streak of seven consecutively from 1993 to 1999.

He won a total of 31 European Tour events, and rose to number two in the world rankings, but never managed to win one of the four majors

He now believes that he has a chance of at least winning a major among the seniors.

"I'm under no illusion as to how good the standard is," Montgomerie said.

"My good friend Bernhard Langer is dominating Senior golf right now, and all credit to him, especially as he coming up to 56 years of age in August.

"Then of course there's Fred Couples, Kenny Perry, Tom Lehman - I could go on and on. There's a great set of players, and they will take a bit of beating.

"But if I can come in and challenge them, I think they will enjoy that, and so will I, and hopefully all of the spectators will too.

"It's about time I won a major championship, so let's hope that one might just be in the offing. But if not, I will still love the competition of it."

Montgomerie, who is also famed for his winning exploits in the Ryder Cup, both as a player and as a captain, said that it would be a boost to be back competing with players who hit the ball off the tee the same distance as himself.

"I've played recently with guys who are younger than my children! You say, 'hang on a minute, this isn't quite a level playing field'. Suddenly I'll be the youngest, playing against guys like Bernhard (Langer) who is six years older than me.

"I'll be a rookie, and therefore hopefully in an advantageous position. I've been playing against guys who are 23, 24 years old and they are hitting the ball a mile, so it's about time that parity came along!"