Monty's in major form

Don't write him off just yet

Bob Warters's picture
Thu, 23 May 2002

Don't write off Colin Montgomerie's hopes of a major title just yet - I did and may live to regret it.

At 38 he's suddenly discovered a putting technique, which, added to his straight driving, imperious iron play and uncanny short game, could just tip the balance in his favour and earn him the major title he craves.

Reluctantly he decided to jam a longer shafted putter into his tummy earlier this year and has emerged with a solid stroke that could earn him much gold and one of those major trophies.

His 64 this morning in the first round of the Volvo PGA he's trying to win for the fourth time in five years, was miraculous and proved that despite an ailing spine the complicated jigsaw that is the Monty golf game is almost complete.

He needed a bit of luck, like when after birdies at 10 and 11, he struck his approach to within a yard of out of bounds at 12, then pitched in from 50 yards for eagle!

Just for good measure he rolled in another birdie at 13 and finished on eight under par - three clear of a high quality field.

Tied for second are Andrew Coltart, Mark McNulty, and Steen Tinning, another player who prefers the belly putter.

Among a handful on five under are defending champion Andrew Oldcorn and Spaniard Jose Maria Olazabal.

Monty won't relish a lie in tomorrow when he plays in the afternoon. He was at the course at six this morning in a bid to keep his back supple. But he will relish the opportunity to continue his superb form which could lead to that treasured major title.



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