LONDON: Colin Montgomerie intends to play at this week's British Masters, despite announcing last Thursday he was separating from his wife Eimear with a view to divorce.
The seven-times European Tour number one pulled out of an Asian Tour event in Beijing six days ago, citing unspecified personal reasons. He had also been expected to withdraw from this week's European Tour stop.
“Colin's planning to play at this stage,” Montgomerie's manager Guy Kinnings told Reuters on Tuesday.
“Although he withdrew from the pro-am, he's been practising hard.
“However, he doesn't feel he needs to be at the course until the first round on Thursday. He believes he knows the Forest of Arden layout fairly well as a twice winner there.”
Montgomerie won the English Open at the central England venue in 1994 and the British Masters there in 1998.
A return to tournament golf should provide a welcome distraction for the 40-year-old Briton, whose private life has been plunged into turmoil.
He had a brief split with his wife in 2000, when he admitted his obsession with the game had been a key factor, but their latest break up appears to be terminal.
In a statement last week, Montgomerie said the separation had been a “desperate decision for us both and a painful time for the family”.
A friend of the couple has described him as being “destructed” by the split. His wife Eimear has said nobody else was involved in the break up of their 14-year marriage.
Montgomerie has not played competitive golf since missing the cut at last month's US Masters. – Reuters