Monty Lights It Up in the Irish Open


Colin Montgomerie displayed the kind of form that has been absent thus far in his 2001 golfing season, when he fired an 8-under-par 63 to take the outright lead at the Murphys Irish Open.
The score was not only his best of the year, but it also set a new course record at the Fota Island course.
It was a good days work, but I dont really pay much attention to these records, professed the recently-turned 38-year-old Scot. I just go out and do the best I can and it was really good today.
It certainly was.
Montgomerie got out of the gates quickly, birdieing four of his first seven holes, before a bogey derailed him slightly at the eighth.
A birdie at No. 9, however, corrected the lapse and then set up Monty for the par-5 10th, where he hit the green in two and calmly rolled in a 30-foot bomb for eagle-three.
Yet another birdie at the eleventh was negated by bogey at No. 16, but again, Montgomerie bounced back, this time hitting a 5-iron second shot to one foot at the closing par-5 18th.
The tap-in eagle gave him 63, which tied his best-ever opening round from the 1992 European Masters.
Check out Monty's record score of 63!
Standing on the first tee it was breezy and the rain was about to start, but I was very, very confident, he said. I like playing here, Ive always enjoyed it. Of all the Opens I play around Europe this is my best record here in Ireland.
For as good as his round was, Montgomerie was not tremendously removed from the rest of the field come the end of the day. Eamonn Darcy and Fredrik Henge also went low Thursday at Fota Island, each posting a 6-under 65.
Thomas Bjorn was one of three others who shot 66, while Padraig Harrington and last weeks winner Andrew Coltart were among a group with 67s.
They are all battling it out for the first-place prize of 266,660 euro, which would provide valuable Ryder Cup points leading up to Septembers big event.
While many shot solid rounds on the first day, the results were not quite so kind to defending champion Patrik Sjoland. He struggled with a 2-over 73, while Seve Ballesteros continued his dismal play with an opening round 77.
Full-field scores from the Murphy's Irish Open