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Monty Buoyed By Second Round Improvement

November 17, 2006 – Colin Montgomerie got back on track in his quest to retain his UBS Hong Kong Open title with an impressive second round on Friday.

The Scot added a four-under-par 66 to his opening 69 to stand at five-under for the tournament, three behind Friday morning pacesetters Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines and Australian Andrew Buckle.

“Much better today,” was Montgomerie’s verdict after a round that included five birdies set against one bogey. “I hit the ball closer to the hole and holed a few putts. That was all really. The front nine was OK.”

Montgomerie – bidding to become only the second player in history, after Taiwan’s Hsieh Yung Yo in 1963-64 – to win back-to-back Hong Kong Opens, was still unhappy about his putting.

He said he was having trouble reading the greens on the Championship Course at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling.

“I three-putted the par-three [the 214-yard fifth hole]. I’ve made two bogeys this week and both were three putts. The grain [on the greens] is difficult and getting the speed is tough.

“I’m back in the tournament but just disappointed as that [his second round] could have been very, very good. But no worries. We’ll do our best over the weekend and see if we can retain this.”

Victory at Fanling on Sunday would also see Montgomerie maintain one of golf’s most remarkable winning streaks. The evergreen Scot has won somewhere around the world at least once every year since 1993.



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