Friday, October 28, 2005

Monty Takes charge in Spain

Montgomerie and Poulter Take Charge at Valderrama

Reuters ? Scotland?s Colin Montgomerie drew first blood in the race to become Europe's Number One for a record eighth time by grabbing a share of the lead after the first round of the Volvo Masters at Club de Golf Valderrama on Spain?s Costa del Sol.

The 42 year old Montgomerie, in a head to head joust with US Open Champion, Michael Campbell, to finish top of The European Tour Order of Merit, joined Volvo Masters title holder Ian Poulter of England on four under par 67.

New Zealander Campbell, ?153,487 behind Montgomerie going into this week's final counting event, bogeyed the last hole to register a one over par 72.A front nine of 32 gave Montgomerie the upper hand on playing partner Campbell, including an eagle two at the eighth when he holed out with his wedge from 111 yards.

The Scot, who will rack up his eighth Order of Merit crown if he stays ahead of Campbell, is erring on the side of caution despite his good start.Montgomerie was understandably delighted - especially as he admitted to feeling anxious at the start. "That's understandable. Human nature," he said. "I've been playing well, but there was an anxiety and I got rid of that in the first three holes."


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