Montys Mental Lapse
Colin Montgomerie showed up one minute late for his 1:20pm tee time at the Golfclub Muchen Nord-Eichenried. He was penalized two strokes, and found himself ten shots off the lead before striking his first shot of the day.
'I thought I was off at 1:30 and I arrived nine minutes and 40 (seconds) early for my tee time,' explained Montgomerie. 'In fact, I was 20 seconds late. Simple as that. A rule's a rule and you've got to abide by it. It's the first time in my career it's happened and obviously won't happen again.'
Had Monty arrived five minutes late, the penalty would have been disqualification. As it was, the Scot carded an even par 72 to finish the day eight strokes off the lead.
While Montgomerie began the day by carding a double-bogey six, Johansson jump-started his round with a birdie three. Over the next 17 holes, the Swede added five more birdies to his total, along with an eagle at the par-5 6th.
Johansson is a three-time winner on the European Tour, though he hasn't entered the winner's circle since 1997. Recently, he's collected a pair of top-3 finishes, but he's still in search of that elusive victory.
'That would be nice but you can only play as well as you can,' said Johansson, currently 21st on the 2000 Order of Merit. 'I've come close a couple of times this year and that's what I'm playing for - to try to win a tournament and get into the ($5 million) American Express event at the end of the season.'
Much like Johansson, Gilford is trying to end a winless drought. The Englishman has six career European Tour wins under his belt, but none since 1994. Last season, Gilford finished 90th on the Order of Merit - his worst finish in nearly a decade.
'I haven't played very well the last three or four years and haven't won for six,' said the 1991 and 1995 European Ryder Cup Team member. 'I have been working on changes with David Whelan for the last eight or nine months and my swing looks better now.'
Thursday, Gilford posted eight birdies and no bogeys en route to his 64. At 8-undr-par, he and Johansson lead Greg Turner and Wayne Riley by one shot. Greg Norman, playing in his first event in Europe in over a year, is tied for 7th at 5-under. Ernie Els is six off the pace after opening in 2-under-par 70.
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Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.
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Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.