Gary goes Orr the way!

Scotsman Gary Orr fends off Colin Montgomerie in a ding-dong battle around Woburn to win the British Masters...

Gary goes Orr the way!

After seven years and 203 events waiting for his first European Tour win at the Algarve Portuguese Open in February, Scotland’s Gary Orr picked up a £133,000 cheque and his second European tour title after just thirteen more events when he dispatched a wayward Colin Montgomerie at the Victor Chandler British Masters today. Gary goes Orr the way!

The day started out promising to be a thriller with Montgomerie two behind his fellow Scot and both players traded punches until Montgomerie threw in the towel looking like someone else was playing for him…someone else like…Seve!

With Monty unusually missing fairways and greens, it made Orr’s job easier but it was not as plain sailing as the three shot win over Monty and by two shots over Per Ulrik Johansson was made to appear.

“I am so relieved” Said Orr. “I could feel the pressure coming down the last few holes, so it’s nice to get the job done”.

Orr is now firmly establishing himself as the next promising Scot, winning twice this year already and he will have the chance to impress at Valhalla next week.

“Wins” Said Orr, “are like a number ten bus…you wait for ages to get one and then all of a sudden, they start coming thick and fast”.

In a ding-dong battle between the two heavyweight Scots, Colin Montgomerie started the day two behind overnight leader Gary Orr. Gary goes Orr the way!

But Monty fired two birdies in the first two holes to level the scores and put some pressure on the Orr. But the 33-year-old from Helensburgh responded with style with a birdie of his own at the fourth hole. And when Monty bogied the fifth hole, lipping out for his par from two feet, Orr steadied himself with three straight pars.

Another birdie for Montgomerie followed at the seventh but at the eighth, the big Scot missed the green right and Orr found it, albeit forty feet away.

Montgomerie failed to get up and down and in typical matchplay fashion, Orr rolled home the tram-liner for a birdie two and a three shot lead.

More problems for Monty at the ninth when he missed a two-foot return putt for par and the deficit was four.

By the 12th, Monty had scraped back two shots on his compatriot, firstly with a birdie at the par five tenth and helped by an Orr bogey at the next.

But Orr again returned fire with an 18-foot birdie putt at the 14th to edge ahead again by three after Montgomerie missed the fairway right and landed in the cabbage rough and failed to reach the green in two.

And by the 14th, it was all over bar the shouting when Montgomerie missed yet another fairway, this time to the left and in some thick pine needles. He could only hook the ball out and run it through the green. But instead of showing a sublime touch as we are all used to from Monty, he showed the touch of a wounded rhinoceros as his ball ran ten feet past and he missed the return putt for par.

Orr, who fired his approach to ten feet, narrowly missed the resulting birdie putt, but the lead was four shots and Montgomerie was becoming a distant blur behind him.

“I didn’t play very well today did I really? The longest putt I holed was from six feet at the first and it’s not good enough really. Yet again, same old story I’m afraid”. Said Montgomerie.

“I didn’t drive well, I didn’t hit my iron shots well, I didn’t chip well and I putted poorly. One of these things, It just happens. I started birdie, birdie and played the next sixteen holes in one over par. Very Poor, very poor. Every shot I hot form then on gave him confidence and it’s very poor for someone my calibre to be doing that. Poor day.”

Orr Closed out with solid pars on the last five holes and nervously pulled an iron from the tee on the 18th, just to make sure of a par.

“It was the only thing I was reaching for” Said Orr who admitted to being very nervous coming down the back nine.

Midway through Montgomerie’s untimely collapse, Swede Per Ulrik Johansson stepped in between the battling Scots with a birdie of his own at the long 16th.

Johansson moved to 18-under par thanks also to an eagle at the tenth hole, having turned in 33, 1-under par. And with a fortunate birdie at the last, Johansson edged two clear of Montgomerie and posted 19-under par for the tournament, returning to his form that saw him play in the 1995 and 1997 Ryder Cups.

“I am really happy with the way I played today. I had a good break on the 18th where I pulled my tee shot but I hit a good three wood onto the edge of the green and chipped up to six feet”. Said the Swede.

But second spot was still not enough to see the Swede go to Valhalla or the following weeks NEC Invitational at Firestone Country Club, Johansson needed to win the event to go.

“I am very disappointed that I wont be at the USPGA, I was eighth at Valhalla four years ago and that got me into the Masters. I am also not at the NEC, which is frustrating”.

“At least it is good to be playing good golf again, I missed that tickling feeling in the stomach on Sunday afternoon and it was nice to have the chance to contend”.

Zimbabwe’s Mark McNulty could not find his previous form when he opened with two 65’s to shoot to 14-under. Three under par for the weekend was never enough for the 46-year-old but he still managed to secure fourth spot.

“At the weekend, I was battling a bit against what I am trying to do with my swing and it didn’t feel natural”. Said McNulty. “I was contending again which is absolutely what I want. Hopefully I can get back to those feelings of being in the hunt”.

Fellow Scot Paul Lawrie could not muster any better than a 1-under par 71 to finish tied for fifth place with countryman Andrew Coltart and defending champion Bob May, all at 16-under par.

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