Monty Feels Hes Playing for Second


ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Colin Montgomerie figures he's playing for second in the British Open.
After several tumultuous years that included a nasty public divorce and accusations of cheating on the golf course -- he'd gladly take it.
Colin Montgomerie
Colin Montgomerie had one eagle, seven birdies and three bogeys Friday.
``I've scraped around the cut mark for the last two or three years, and it hasn't really been much fun,'' Montgomerie said after a 6-under 66 Friday left him four strokes behind Tiger Woods.
Still, Montgomerie said, if Woods plays like he can ``second place is what we are doing.''
At 42, the Scotsman could qualify as the best player never to have won a major.
He's winless in 54 major championships, but he's given some hope to the home fans before. He led the Open after two rounds in 2001 at Royal Lytham before imploding over the weekend. Last year at Royal Troon, where his father was the longtime club secretary, he opened with 69-69, but faded with a final-round 76.
His one advantage over Woods is an ever-hopeful Scottish crowd, which stayed around more than an hour after Jack Nicklaus said goodbye to the Old Course and Woods walked down the 18th to see him finish.
``The crowd are very much behind me here, playing at the home of golf in Scotland, and I suppose the top Scottish player of the time,'' Montgomerie said. ``It's a fantastic experience for me.''
He tipped his blue visor walking down the 18th, amid calls of ``Come on Monty'' and ``Keep going Monty.''
Years of disappointment haven't cost him his ranking as Scotland's favorite son.
``Monty will be happy tonight,'' said Jim Maccallum, a Scottish marshal working the 18th fairway. ``To have him in final pairing is a great way to finish the tournament.''
To have a chance, Woods needs to stumble and Monty has to keep putting the way he did Friday.
``It is possible,'' he said. ``If it wasn't possible, we'd stop it now.''
In a nearly error-free round, there were still flashes of Montgomerie's volatile temper. Minutes after a 45-foot birdie putt lipped out on 17, he grew impatient on the 18th tee and flipped his driver on the ground when marshals asked him to delay his tee shot.
Seven players are a stroke farther back than Montgomerie, led by No. 2-ranked Vijay Singh.
``One of those in the pack is going to shoot low tomorrow,'' Montgomerie said. ``And if Tiger does stutter tomorrow, it gives us a chance. On Sunday, a couple of bounces here and there. You never know what can happen.''
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - 134th Open Champoinship
  • Daily Photo Gallery
  • Open Championship Trivia Challenge
    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.