Golf: Woosnam hopes for cure

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The Independent Online
IAN WOOSNAM, without a win since the World Cup last November, starts his second hat-trick attempt of the year in Monte Carlo today hoping that vitamin pills might be the answer to some of his recent troubles.

The last player to win the same event three times in a row in Europe was the Australian, Peter Thomson, when he won the Open from 1954 to 1956.

Woosnam finished only 19th when attempting the feat in the Mediterranean Open four months ago, but on the eve of the Monte Carlo Open the Welshman feels he has a chance again.

'Last week I scored 60 at Oswestry and I'm hitting it great in practice,' Woosnam said. 'I've felt a bit lethargic all the time this year and I'm working on my concentration. A friend suggested multi-vitamin tablets, so I'm trying them and hoping they improve things.'

Woosnam had a nine-under-par round of 60 in winning at Mont Agel in 1990 and followed that up with a 61 in his successful defence last July.

Woosnam, who at one stage led both the US Masters and US Open this year, is desperate to do well at Monte Carlo with the Open at Muirfield just a fortnight away.

'I need to play under pressure and that only comes when you are in contention with nine holes to play. It's a long while since I've been in that position.' he added.

'It'll help a lot in coping with the pressure at Muirfield if I play well these next two weeks. 'Sandy (Lyle) has won two majors and Nick (Faldo) four. I'd like to win the Open too before I finish.'

Lyle and Faldo are among those resting this week, but Monte Carlo resident Seve Ballesteros will be chasing his third win of the season.

Like Woosnam, the Spaniard fell out of the US Open race with a 79 on the windswept final day at Pebble Beach, but is looking forward to Muirfield.

'I have always believed I am a complete golfer without any weakness,' he said. 'In the US Open, though, there is too big a penalty for missing a fairway and you can't play aggressively.'

Ballesteros is paired with the Zimbabwean Tony Johnstone, Europe's leading money-winner this season, in the first two rounds. and Kent's Peter Mitchell, winner of his first tour title in Austria three weeks ago. Woosnam plays with Swede Per-Ulrik Johansson and Spaniard Jose Rivero.

----------------------------------------------------------------- CARD OF THE COURSE ----------------------------------------------------------------- Hole Yards Par Hole Yards Par 1st 561 5 10th 462 4 2nd 155 3 11th 447 4 3rd 397 4 12th 165 3 4th 215 3 13th 400 4 5th 337 4 14th 168 3 6th 414 4 15th 292 4 7th 339 4 16th 437 4 8th 218 3 17th 492 5 9th 385 4 18th 312 4 Out: 3021 34 In: 3175 35 Total: 6196 69 -----------------------------------------------------------------