Friday, August 29, 2014


 Colin Montgomerie   (Getty Images)
Colin Montgomerie in action at Woburn today  (Getty Images(c


Colin Montgomerie made an impressive start to the defence of his title in the Travis Perkins Masters, carding a bogey-free four under par opening round of 68 to share the lead with American Gary Rusnak at Woburn Golf Club.
The double Senior Major Champion triumphed by six strokes 12 months ago, and he took little time to get into the red again, birdieing the opening hole of the Duke’s Course. He then picked up further shots on the third and tenth, before holing an incredible snaking 25ft birdie putt down the two-tiered green on the 14th hole.
Swirling winds made conditions tricky at the tree-lined course, with only nine players breaking par, but Montgomerie produced an exemplary display of driving, hitting every fairway as he looks to become the only the second player after Carl Mason in 2006-07 to successfully defend the Travis Perkins Masters crown.
 “It was difficult out there today,” he said. “The wind was swirling so you stand over the shot, and one minute it is one club and then another club the next minute. So, to go round bogey free is very good. It was hard to get it close to the hole, and I’m delighted to get in with a 68.”
The 2010 European Ryder Cup Captain and Rusnak are two shots clear of a group of four players, which included Montgomerie’s playing partner Cesar Monasterio, the winner of last week’s English Senior Open, who began his bid for back-to-back victories with a round of 70.
Montgomerie, who won the US Senior PGA and US Senior Open earlier this season, started with consecutive rounds of 68 last year, and he is now 14 under par for his four tournament rounds at Woburn, with his consistency off the tee a crucial factor.
“I drove the ball particularly well, and knowing the course as I do from last year made it easier, but the conditions made scoring higher than you’d expect,” he said. 

“Driving well is the key to success round here. You have to hit the fairways, and not just that but the right side of the fairways, and I did that today, so long may it continue.
 “The putt on 14 was fantastic too. It was two tiers and I thought I had left it on top but it trickled and trickled from the top of the green, broke one way, broke the next and it was fortunate it went in. It went every way, but it was a very good putt.”
Mason currently holds the record as the quickest player to win four times on the Senior Tour, doing so in just 11 events, but if Montgomerie retains his title it would be his fourth win in just nine appearances. 
However, he know he will face some stiff competition over the weekend, with Rusnak looking to become the fourth maiden winner of the 2014 season.
Rusnak holed a 15ft putt on the last hole for his fifth birdie of the day, with just one bogey on his card on the 14th hole, as he carded a first round in the 60s for the fourth time in his last five tournaments.
 “I’ve had some good first rounds this season, but I’ve not been able to put three rounds together,” said the 51 year old. 

“If I keep at it, the more chances I get I will strike one day. It ought to be exciting playing with Monty now, especially round here when he is defending, so I’m looking forward to that.”
Monasterio had held the lead in the early stages after four birdies in his opening 12 holes, but he dropped shots on the 14th and 16th holes to finish on two under par. Also two shots back are Ireland’s Philip Walton, Canada’s Rick Gibson and Frenchman Marc Farry.


Par 72)
68 C Montgomerie  (Sco) , G Rusnak (USA) 

70 C Monasterio (Arg) , R Gibson (Can) , M Farry (Fra) , P Walton (Irl)
 71 A Sherborne (Eng) , P Fowler (Aus) , P Golding (Eng) ,
 72 T Thelen (USA) , M Martin (Esp) , J Smith (USA) , J Carriles (Esp) , S Luna (Esp) ,
 73 M James (Eng), J Sallat (Fra) , J Quiros (Esp) , J Bruner (USA) , D O'Sullivan (Irl) , P Wesselingh (Eng) , G Brand Jnr (Sco) , B Ruangkit (Tha) , C Williams (Eng) , S Torrance (Sco) , J Berendt (Arg) , N Job (Eng) , A Franco (Par) , M Cunning (USA) , R Drummond (Sco) , J Rivero (Esp) , B Lane (Eng) ,
 74 J Remesy (Fra) , K Tomori (Jpn) , A Bossert (Sui) , A Oldcorn (Sco) ,
 75 M Davis (Eng) , S Tinning (Den) , G Emerson (Eng) , N Ratcliffe (Aus) , E Romero (Arg) , C Mason (Eng) , S McAllister (Sco) , M Mackenzie (Eng) , M Harwood (Aus) , G Brand (Eng) , B Conser (USA)  

76 G Manson (Aut) , L Carbonetti (Arg) , B Cameron (Eng) , D Smyth (Irl) , W Grant (Eng) , P Eales (Eng) , P Linhart (Esp) ,
 77 M Piñero (Esp) , J Cañizares (Esp) , G Ryall (Eng) , S Cipa (Eng) , G Wolstenholme (Eng) , R Rafferty (Nir) , J Spence (Eng) ,
 78 P Barber (Eng) , P Jonas (Can) , K Spurgeon (Eng) ,
 79 S Brown (Eng) , J Gould (Eng) , T Johnstone (Zim) ,
 80 M Bianco (Ita) , A Murray (Eng) , D Durnian (Eng) ,
 81 T Price (Aus) ,
 82 M Wharton (Eng) ,
 84 B Stevens (Eng) ,




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