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Wednesday, August 29, 2007



GAYNOR Knowles probably doesn't know an eagle from a birdie - so she's unlikely to be able to talk about golf with Colin Montgomerie.
Friends say that ignorance of the game has allowed him to take his mind off things when they are together, which has helped turn his career around.
And they will be together a lot more soon - because they are getting married.
The golfer proposed to Mrs Knowles, 40, in the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire in front of the seven children they have between them. She said yes, and the wedding could take place as early as January.
His fiancée has also persuaded Montgomerie, 44, to move back to Scotland, with friends saying the couple will set up home somewhere in Perthshire.
Last night, the golfer, who is due to play in the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles this week, said: "We are just thrilled and looking forward to the future together. We have not yet made any formal plans but will be planning with the respective families in the coming weeks."
Friends say the new relationship has helped lift the storm clouds that have blighted Montgomerie's form since the acrimonious divorce in 2004 from childhood sweetheart Eimear, his wife of 14 years.

Last month, he won the European Open in Ireland - his first title in 20 months.
Mrs Knowles was left £20 million following the death of her husband, George, the head of the Sterling Furniture Group, who had a heart attack while celebrating his 41st birthday jet-skiing off his yacht at Puerto Pollensa in Majorca in 2003.
The broadcaster Dougie Donnelly, a close family friend of Mrs Knowles and her late husband, said: "My wife Linda and I introduced Colin to Gaynor at Gleneagles Hotel two years ago. We had dinner with them in the Strathearn Restaurant at Gleneagles and just last weekend Colin and Gaynor went back to the same restaurant where he proposed to her.
"The two of them and the seven children had been on holiday in France last week, where they all got along famously. The kids all like each other, which is great.
"Colin will come up here to live after they are married, which we expect will be sometime next year. I am sure he will move up from England sooner rather than later after the marriage. I think they are likely to settle in Perthshire, though not at Gleneagles."
Montgomerie asked his children, Olivia, 13, Venetia, 11, and Cameron, nine, for the go-ahead for the marriage, then pleaded with them to keep it a secret before presenting Mrs Knowles with a diamond engagement ring. The children are understood to have told their mother about it when their father took them back to her this week.
Eimear, 37, who is on holiday in Belgium with her new boyfriend, millionaire Nick Cooke, 55, said she was delighted by the news. "I haven't met Gaynor, but I am told by the children that she is very nice and they like her a lot," she said.
In September 2006, during their courtship, Montgomerie attracted criticism by breaking off mid-tournament from the BMW international open in Germany to make a 2,000-mile round trip by private jet at a cost of £30,000 to join Mrs Knowles and one of her daughters at a sell-out Robbie Williams concert at Hampden Park in Glasgow.
Gaynor's late husband was an avid collector of classic cars and he left 70, including a Ferrari, a Lamborghini and an Aston Martin.
She lives in a £1.5 million mansion at Drum of Garvock near the village of Dunning, a few miles south of Perth, with her four children - son George, 18, and daughters Lindsey, 15, Christie, 12 and seven-year-old Aimee.
She has admitted having little knowledge of golf but has supported Montgomerie at major tournaments. Her calming influence has been said to have helped Montgomerie regain his golfing form.
During their courtship the couple have been spotted shopping in Harrods and entertaining friends in top London restaurants.