Monty’s Senior Open challenge comes apart on the back nine

© GettyColin Montgomerie was roughed up by the closing stretch of the Old Course in the first round of the Senior Open.
Colin Montgomerie was roughed up by the closing stretch of the Old Course in the first round of the Senior Open.

Colin Montgomerie’s hopes of a Senior Open title took a significant blow on the back nine of the Old Course in yesterday’s first round.

The Scot had worked himself into a strong position with a charge around the loop, picking up four birdies in five holes to go to five-under, just two behind the newly-finished leader Kirk Triplett.

However back into the wind on the second nine the Old Course took full retribution, starting with a loose approach to the 12th that cost Monty a stroke.

He got out of a gorse bush without damage at the long 14th but finding “Wig”, the greenside bunker at 16th cost him a stroke as he had to come out sideways and did well to get down in two putts.

But the bogey there was compounded with another poor approach to the 17th, finding the Road Hole Bunker and having no option but to come out at right angles from the pin again. This time he needed three putts and took double bogey, going all the way back to a one-under 71.

Thailand’s Thaworn Wirachant shot a 65 to share the lead while former PGA champion David Toms’ 67 was the other best round of the afternoon starters in the first round at the Old Course.

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