Golf: Price able to take half-way advantage

COLIN MONTGOMERIE gave Phillip Price the half-way lead in the Volvo German Open yesterday, with a last-hole double-bogey. Montgomerie, having started at the 10th, came to the 400-yard ninth hole at 13 under par, in the lead and one shot ahead of Price.

Then came trouble as the English Open winner drove into the rough, then got a flyer with his eight-iron which sailed over the green, eventually taking six for the hole.

It left him in joint-second place at the end of the day on 133, one shot behind Price and level with Ross McFarlane and Sweden's Peter Hedblom.

Montgomerie said: 'This is not the first time this has happened to me. I got a double-bogey at the last hole in my first round at the English Open and it really fired me up. I've just got to make sure it fires me up again.

'I came back from this sort of situation last week and there is no reason, the way I am playing, why I should not do so again. I played great today, apart from a stupid shot at the 17th, where I duffed a four-iron out of a bunker, and that last hole.'

Montgomerie shot 68, four under par, but said he would not have accepted that score had he been offered it at the start. 'They say the par here is 72, but it's really 68.' He was undoubtedly right, for the cut was made at two under par, equalling the lowest qualifying score on the European Tour this year.

Price, who followed his first- round 65 with a 67 for 132, was unhappy with his swing despite his leading position. 'I've got a twist at the top of my backswing and I'm not making a solid contact,' he said. 'But I suppose you can't complain at 12 under par for two rounds.'

Yesterday he had six birdies and only one bogey, but says he needs to improve his technique if he is to continue to play well for the rest of the year.

In contrast, McFarlane was all smiles after an eight-birdie 65. He said: 'I play with a ball with my name and a smile on it, and this takes the tension out of my putting.'

Hedblom finished late in the day with an eagle then a birdie for 64, but was upstaged by his fellow Swedes, Olle Nordberg and Pierre Fulke, who both holed in one. Nordberg achieved his with a two- iron at the 221-yard 11th hole, while Fulke matched that effort with a nine-iron at the 137-yard fourth.

VOLVO GERMAN OPEN (Hubbelrath Golf Club, Dusseldorf) Leading second-round scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 132 P Price 65 67. 133 C Montgomerie 65 68; R McFarlane 68 65; P Hedblom (Swe) 69 64. 134 P-U Johansson (Swe) 64 70. 135 S Grappasonni (It) 65 70; G Brand Jnr 67 68; A Bossert (Swit 67 68; T Levet (Fr) 63 72. 136 G Turner (NZ) 66 70. 137 P Teravainen (US) 69 68; V Fernandez (Arg) 70 67; G Levenson (SA) 68 69; B Langer (Ger) 69 68; M Gates 67 70. 138 G Orr 70 68; C O'Connor Jnr 69 69; M Nichols 71 67; R Rafferty 68 70; M Roe 71 67; J Rivero (Sp) 69 69; A Oldcorn 68 70; S Bowman (US) 69 69; F Regard (Fr) 69 69. 139 P Golding 70 69; P Curry 67 72; M Clayton (Aus) 71 68; A Sherborne 71 68; E Darcy 68 71. 140 M-A Jimenez (Sp) 69 71; J Haeggman (Swe) 68 72; P Linhart (Sp) 69 71; A Mednick (Swe) 68 72; S Jones (US) 69 71; D A Russell 70 70; J Bland (SA) 71 69; M Miller 71 69; P Fulke (Swe) 67 73; M Gronberg (Swe) 66 74; D Gilford 73 67; W Westner (SA) 69 71. 141 C Moody 70 71; S Watson 73 68; J Hawkes (SA) 68 73; E Romero (Arg) 68 73; J-M Carriles (Sp) 69 72; A Sorensen (Den) 71 70; L Westwood 72 69; T Giedeon (Ger) 68 73; G J Brand 69 72; I Pyman 69 72; S Brown 69 72; P Broadhurst 69 72; G Evans 70 71; R Karlsson (Swe) 69 72. 142 M Scarpa (It) 71 71; I Palmer (SA) 72 70; M Zerman (It) 68 74; M Pinero (Sp) 73 69; D Clarke 71 71; I Garrido (Sp) 69 73; J Spence 72 70; J Townsend (US) 74 68; R Claydon 74 68; B Marchbank 71 71; T Johnstone (Zim) 69 73; T Goegele (Ger) 70 72; R Allenby (Aus) 67 75; P Mitchell 74 68; A Gillner (Swe) 69 73; J Coceres (Arg) 71 71; J-L Guepy (Fr) 71 71; D Curry 71 71.

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