Colin Montgomerie hopes a return to action in Asia will provide him with the "plat-form" to end a run of five missed halfway cuts.

The Scot will headline an elite field in the £1million BMW Asian Open starting in Shanghai today.

The eight-time European Order of Merit winner's most recent missed cut came at the US Masters but the 42-year-old will hope to rediscover his best form at the par-72 Tomson Golf Club.

The tournament has been hit by the late withdrawals of injured English duo Luke Donald and David Howell but Montgomerie remains one of the biggest draws in an event co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours.

Donald pulled out because of an eye infection while Howell is nursing a hip injury.

Montgomerie, who has not won on the European Tour since December's UBS Hong Kong Open, is glad to be back where he is "comfortable".

"I have just had a bad run with the putter," he said. "Augusta was very disappointing with the putter again for the 14th year in a row but never mind, we'll get going here.

"You spend a lot of time in America, a month there, and don't make a cut in three tournaments and that is disappointing.

"Sometimes it is a blessing in disguise because it forces you to change something."

Montgomerie believes Shanghai will provide the perfect platform to get back on track.

"I feel very comfortable here in Asia," he said. "I have won a few times over here.

"I think this is a platform for me to get going."

Henrik Stenson will also be hoping to get back into the groove as the highest-ranked player in the field at 15th in the world - one rung above Montgomerie.

The stylish Swede has not won since the Qatar Masters in January and will be looking to regain his early 2006 form [2014] he was runner-up in the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship in January, a creditable seventh in the Dubai Desert Classic in February and third in the Players' Championship in March.

He said: "I have not been swinging it well and have not been able to place the ball where I want to.

"At the US Masters, I had a bad finish on the first day on the last two holes and I lost my patience, and you can't do that at Augusta.

"It was a good experience for next year where I hope to do better."

Stenson believes Montgomerie might reproduce his sparkling form in Shanghai and take his place among the leaders on Sunday. He's always a challenger with all the experience he has got," the 30-year-old Swede said.

Also in the field are Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez, of Spain, Denmark's Thomas Bjorn, Paul Casey and six-time major winner Nick Faldo.

Stenson added: "Miguel and Thomas are good players. It's always hard to know who you are going to have to beat to win the tournament.

"I'm playing a little bit better so hopefully I can be up there on Sunday for a chance to win it and a few guys from the Asian Tour are going to be up there as well.