The Duncan Banner

Sports

July 11, 2014

Montgomerie grabs 1st round lead at open

EDMOND — The practice range at Oak Tree National was a place of bewilderment Thursday morning. A cold front brought an early morning thunderstorm along with a 180-degree shift in the wind to the north.

Nothing, however, seemed to bother Colin Montgomerie. The 51-year-old Scotsman fired a 6-under 65, seizing the early lead in the U.S. Senior Open.

“You're always going to get breeze out here in Oklahoma. That's part of the test out here,” Montgomerie said. “At the same time, I prefer the wind and the cool than the no wind and the heat.”

The heat showed up in force, along with strong southerly winds early Thursday afternoon. The opening round was a classic luck-of-the-draw scenario.

The half of the 156-player field that teed off in the morning were greeted with relatively light winds and a soft course. Their only issue was a 77-minute weather delay due to the thunderstorms.

Most of the players had not hit the course before the delay. It didn’t affect their routines much. They were expecting worse.

“It was so dark out there that it was eerie in many ways. It was like Armageddon, you know. It was weird,” Montgomerie said. “So the siren was expected. I was surprised at the length of the delay. It was only an hour, really.”

The morning wave had the easier time Thursday. The thunderstorm delayed morning rounds by 77 minutes, but also softened the 7,053-yard, par-71 course.

Montgomerie wasn’t alone in taking advantage of the soft conditions.

Marco Dawson was only one shot off the pace at 5 under.

Their routes to Oak Tree National couldn’t differ more. Montgomerie spent two decades as one of golf’s biggest names. He dominated the European PGA Tour throughout the 1990s, winning 31 times internationally, and amassing a Ryder Cup record of 20-9-7.

But he never won on American soil until claiming the Senior PGA Championship two months ago.

Still the name recognition he’s brought to the Senior PGA Tour and this week’s event is noticeable. His group, along with Rocco Mediate and Tom Lehman, was one of the most watched of the days.

They witnessed a ball-striking exhibition from Montgomery. His round included eight birdies against two bogeys. Twice he put together runs of three straight birdies.

Montgomery’s round began on the 10th holes. He sank birdie putts at Nos. 14 and 15 and chipped in for another at No. 16 to get to 3 under.

A similar three-hole run on Nos. 6, 7 and 8 put him at 6 under.

Dawson was two groups ahead of Montgomerie and playing in near anonymity.

Dawson spent 21 years on the PGA Tour, but only amassed 18 top 10 finishes in his career. He teed it up in 161 Wed.com Tour events as well. Dawson’s golfing career has been a constatnt fight to make cuts and stay in the game.

Even getting a spot in the U.S. Senior Open was a chore. He earned an alternate spot in sectional qualifying, but didn’t get a spot in the 156-player field until last week.

But Montgomerie and Dawson shared a common trait on Thursday. They both hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens.

“You’re always going to be on the offensive when you're driving the ball in the fairway,” Dawson said. “If you're in the rough all the time you're always playing defense. So, it really helps to drive the ball well.”

That was getting harder to do at the day went on.

Bernhard Langer, the two-time Masters champion, and Kirk Triplett both wrapped up the penning round at 2 under and are four shots off Montgomerie’s pace.

Langer, who won the 2010 U.S. Senior Open crown at Shahale Country Club in Sammamish, Wash., and won the Constellation Senior Players Championship two weeks ago, has been the over-50 circuit’s best player for the last five years.

“They say you don't win a tournament on the first day. You can certainly lose it with a bad round, so, you know, I'm somewhere in the top 10 or top 20 after today, which is a good spot to be,” he said. “Still have three rounds to go.”

The leaderboard could look dramatically different when they return to the course today. Montgomerie doesn’t expect to still be on top when he returns to the first tee box at 1:52 p.m. today.

“The guys that are going out now will play now and then tomorrow morning, so I don't expect to have the lead when I tee off tomorrow afternoon,” Montgomerie said. “So it's a matter of being patient and trying to play somewhere near the way I did today. It will be difficult. I'm not denying that. It will be a struggle. It's going to be 100 degrees the next three days, and it's going to be difficult, no denying. But at the same time the rewards are great enough to warrant that. So I look forward to it.”

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Dehydrator to start Saturday morning

    With the highest ever pre-register attendance in event history, 428, the 24th annual Dehydrator Bike Ride kicks off Saturday at 7 a.m. at the Simmons Center.

    July 25, 2014

  • Playing partners Just another day on the course

    Following Thursday’s twosome of Duncan freshman Thomas Strong and sixth-grader Ridge Harris, a casual viewer might forget that they were competing in a golf tournament.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cox Duncan’s Cox shines with 3-over 74

    Tuesday night, Duncan High School golfer Graham Cox stayed up late watching “Batman Begins.”

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Morrow Marlow trio looking to take next step at state

    The Marlow boys’ golf team finished fifth in the state tournament last year, but with the team actively trying to improve this summer, the Outlaws have their sights set much higher.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Watson leaves Bray-Doyle before first season starts

    Jeremy Watson has resigned as Bray-Doyle High School boys basketball coach, Athletic Director Frank Moser said Wednesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Stars align Big names featured at wrestling camp

    Kids were lining up for autographs from Oklahoma assistant wrestling coach Michael Lightner, after Marlow’s wrestling camp Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Williams Demon softball starts preseason

    Last year, Duncan softball came close.
    This year, coach Robert Cowan has made it clear close will not be good enough.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Duncan well represented at Hoedebeck tournament

    The Duncan Golf and Tennis Club will host 60 players, 10 of which are in the Duncan Public School system, in its Hoedebeck Memorial Junior Tournament Wednesday through Thursday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Playoff hopes on Oklahoma’s mind at Big 12 media day

    High expectations are always chained to Oklahoma both internally and among its massive fan base.
    However, the Sooners enter the 2014 season as a consensus pick to reach the first College Football Playoff. For once, all expectations mesh.

    July 23, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive
Poll

Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

     View Results