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Monty’s Logic

If Colin Montgomerie is as good at predictions as he is at golf, he will need rounds of 66 and 65 to win the UBS Hong Kong Open.

The Scot posted a second-round 66 at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling on Friday to reach five-under for the tournament and put himself in position to catch the leaders at the weekend.

Asked what sort of score would be good enough to win the tournament, Montgomerie gave reporters a quick maths lesson.

“It’s surprising how often this happens, but you can usually double the first-round score, which was six under par [by Korea’s Kang Wook Soon], and add two,” he said. “So you are talking 14 under par to win. What am I? Five. So I’m looking at a 66 and a 65, right?

“It’s amazing how often that happens, double the first-round score and add two. You can almost use it as a code. You will probably find that it will happen here again.”

Montgomerie, lying four shots behind leader Rick Gibson of Canada, said a good start to the third round would put pressure on his rivals.

“If I can be two under after four or five holes and get to seven under for the tournament and start pressing, then it counts. There’s no point in doing this today and then backing off tomorrow. I have to keep going through tomorrow and really get into contention.”

While content with his four-under 66, the eight-time European Tour Order of Merit champion felt he could have got into the low 60s.

“It’s always nice not to drop a shot but four birdies was disappointing in view of the way I hit and how close I hit the ball. Yes, it’s a reasonable score, but I’m disappointed in many ways that it wasn’t better.

“But at least it has given me an opportunity to score low tomorrow and get into contention on Saturday night, which is my goal in any tournament.”

Montgomerie was especially pleased to finish with a birdie three at the ninth hole, his last.

“At 474 yards and par four, it’s a very difficult hole. You have to hook it round the corner, which isn’t really my shot, because I tend to run through the fairway, which I did again. But I hit a seven iron from the rough which came out perfectly and ran on to about five foot and I holed it.

“That was about a shot and a half on the field because the hole is playing as the most difficult on the course.”

Almost as satisfying for Monty was how he salvaged a par four on the sixth hole, his 15th.

“I drove into the trees on the left and had no shot out. I had to chip out sideways and I hit a nine iron into eight feet and holed it. It was a great feeling walking to the seventh tee because that was not just a normal par.

“I got to the seventh tee, birdied that and then birdied the ninth, so in the space of half an hour I’ve gone from being in danger of falling to two under to being five under for the tournament, which is a huge difference. Dinner will definitely taste nicer tonight!”


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