HONG KONG (AP) – Colin Montgomerie won the Hong Kong Open by one stroke Sunday over South Africa’s James Kingston, who squandered a one-shot lead with a double bogey on the final hole.

Montgomerie closed with a par-70, his worst round of the tournament, but came away with his 30th victory on the European tour. He had three birdies and three bogeys to finish at 9-under 271 in the $1.2 million event, which is sanctioned by the European and Asian tours.

Kingston led by a stroke going to the 18th. He drove into the trees, chipped out and sent his third shot short of the green. Once on the green, he two-putted.

“That’s golf,” Kingston said. “Obviously, I was aware of the situation. I was just so nervous.”

Montgomerie said the weather and pin placement made it hard to make birdies.

“The greens were firm because we have had no rain this week, and we had a bit of wind today and it was very much more difficult today with the Sunday pin position,” the Scotsman said.

Montgomerie has been the top European money champ a record eight times.

“I must say that everyone’s heart goes out to James Kingston there,” he said. “That should have been a playoff at worst to be honest, and then we wold have had more drama coming down the last hole.”

Sharing second with Kingston were: Taiwan’s Kin Keng-chi (69), Thailand’s Thammanoon Srirot (68), the United States’ Edward Loar (69), South Korea’s K.J. Choi (69).

AP-ES-12-04-05 1007EST

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