Saturday, August 30, 2014




Colin Montgomerie’s breathless bid for back-to-back victories in the Travis Perkins Masters remains on track after the Scot moved four shots clear at Woburn Golf Club with a three under par second round of 69.
The 2010 European Ryder Cup Captain won the title by six shots last year and has been in dominant form once again as he looks to claim his third European Senior Tour victory of the season, following double Major success at the US Senior PGA Championship presented by KitchenAid and the US Senior Open.
Having shared the overnight lead with American Gary Rusnak, Montgomerie claimed the outright advantage with a birdie on the first hole, but then gave that shot back with his a bogey on the par three third hole.
He then birdied the fifth, tenth and 12th holes, but dropped a shot on the 15th before holing an eight foot birdie on the last for a seven under par total of 137.
In contrast, Rusnak found the trees on the closing hole en route to a double bogey six, meaning he slipped back to one under par, leaving fellow American Mike Cunning, who posted a round of 68, as Montgomerie’s nearest challenger on three under par.
Eight-time European Number One Montgomerie took a three-stroke advantage into the final round 12 months ago, and he will have the cushion of an extra shot this time round.
However, he remains aware that it will be far from a victory parade after struggling with his driving by comparison to his flawless display off the tee in a first round of 68.
“It was job done today, really,” said the 51 year old. “It was important to keep moving in the right direction, which I’ve done, but I didn’t play as well as yesterday. I didn’t drive the ball as well.
“Round here, if you don’t drive the ball well, you put yourself under pressure. I knew that today and a couple of mistakes and bogeys,were made due to the fact that I didn’t hit the fairways.
“I wasn’t swinging the club as well as I was yesterday, when I knew exactly where the ball was going to go, so that will need to improve tomorrow.”
As well as aiming to become only the second player after Carl Mason to successfully defend the Travis Perkins Masters title, Montgomerie is also trying to beat Mason’s record as the quickest player to win four times on the European Senior Tour. 

Mason achieved the feat in 11 appearances, whereas Montgomerie is playing in just his ninth event, and victory would also further extend his commanding cushion at the top of the Senior Tour Order of Merit. 
“I have to be careful tomorrow, but if I am under par I should be safe,” he said. “There are a lot of good challengers though who can shoot a 66 so you have to be careful. I’ll watch the leaderboards and play conservatively to a point, but at the same time when it is time to attack I will do so.”
Cunning posted four birdies in his opening six holes, but fell back after bogeys on the seventh and tenth holes. The two-time Senior Tour winner then followed a birdie on the 15th hole with a bogey on the 16th, before finishing strongly with back-to-back gains.
Spaniard Miguel Angel Martin, who was joint runner up behind Montgomerie last year, is also in contention once again, carding a round of 70 to sit five shots behind the leader on two under par. 

He is in a three-way share of third position with 2011 champion Boonchu Ruangktit (69) and Cesar Monasterio (72), the Argentine who won last week’s English Senior Open.

Par 144 (2x72)
 137 C Montgomerie  (Sco) 68 69,
 141 M Cunning (USA) 73 68,
 142 M Martin (Esp) 72 70, C Monasterio (Arg) 70 72, B Ruangkit (Tha) 73 69,
 143 A Bossert (Sui) 74 69, P Fowler (Aus) 71 72, T Thelen (USA) 72 71, R Gibson (Can) 70 73, C Williams (RSA) 73 70, B Lane (Eng) 73 70, G Rusnak (USA) 68 75,
 144 R Drummond (Sco) 73 71, J Carriles (Esp) 72 72, J Rivero (Esp) 73 71,
 145 D Smyth (Irl) 76 69, P Walton (Irl) 70 75, M Davis (Eng) 75 70, N Job (Eng) 73 72,
 146 E Romero (Arg) 75 71, P Wesselingh (Eng) 73 73, J Remesy (Fra) 74 72, M Farry (Fra) 70 76, P Golding (Eng) 71 75, J Bruner (USA) 73 73, S Luna (Esp) 72 74, A Franco (Par) 73 73,
 147 C Mason (Eng) 75 72, G Manson (Aut) 76 71, K Tomori (Jpn) 74 73, S Tinning (Den) 75 72, T Johnstone (Zim) 79 68, A Sherborne (Eng) 71 76,
 148 G Brand Jnr (Sco) 73 75, J Smith (USA) 72 76, J Quiros (Esp) 73 75, M Harwood (Aus) 75 73, A Oldcorn (Sco) 74 74, B Conser (USA) 75 73,
 149 N Ratcliffe (Aus) 75 74, J Berendt (Arg) 73 76, B Cameron (Eng) 76 73, P Eales (Eng) 76 73, P Linhart (Esp) 76 73, J Sallat (Fra) 73 76,
 150 M Piñero (Esp) 77 73, W Grant (Eng) 76 74, L Carbonetti (Arg) 76 74, R Rafferty (Nir) 77 73, S McAllister (Sco) 75 75, J Spence (Eng) 77 73, J Cañizares (Esp) 77 73,
 151 D O'Sullivan (Irl) 73 78, S Cipa (Eng) 77 74, S Brown (Eng) 79 72, G Emerson (Eng) 75 76, P Barber (Eng) 78 73, M James (Eng) 73 78,
 152 S Torrance (Sco) 73 79, A Murray (Eng) 80 72,
 153 G Wolstenholme (Eng) 77 76, P Jonas (Can) 78 75, K Spurgeon (Eng) 78 75, M Mackenzie (Eng) 75 78,
 154 G Ryall (Eng) 77 77,
 155 M Wharton (Eng) 82 73, J Gould (Eng) 79 76,
 156 G Brand (Eng) 75 81, D Durnian (Eng) 80 76,
 157 M Bianco (Ita) 80 77, T Price (Aus) 81 76,
 162 B Stevens (Eng) 84 78,




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