Bjorn foresees end to Montgomerie's reign

Thomas Bjorn yesterday threw down a challenge to Colin Montgomerie's seven-year reign as European No 4, after shooting 64 in the second round of the Canon European Masters here yesterday.

Thomas Bjorn yesterday threw down a challenge to Colin Montgomerie's seven-year reign as European No 4, after shooting 64 in the second round of the Canon European Masters here yesterday.

"I think it's time for a change and I think it's going to be hard for Monty to make it eight in a row now," said Bjorn, winner of last week's BMW International in Munich.

Eduardo Romero has a three-stroke advantage after the 46-year-old Argentinian added a 68 to his opening 64 for a 10-under-par total of 132. But the defending champion, Lee Westwood, moved up from ninth place to joint second with Darren Clarke by firing a 66. Clarke himself hit a 67, while Bjorn is only one shot further back on 136.

But Nick Faldo fell 10 adrift, after the promise of a first-day 69, going round in what he described as a "terrible" 73.

Westwood, with £1.26m already deposited in his bank account this season, leads the Order of Merit, but only by £39,000 from Clarke and £53,000 from Ernie Els.

Bjorn is £315,000 behind and fifth-placed Montgomerie a further £72,000 back, but the Scot is an absentee from Crans-sur-Sierre after missing his first halfway cut for two years last week.

Bjorn, who hit a spectacular birdie-birdie-eagle-birdie run from the 13th to haul himself back into the running for the £153,000 first prize, said: "He's going to be a long way behind after this and I think Lee is the man to beat. He's playing solid golf, he does not seem bothered about anything else and he's going to make a lot of money at the end of the season, because he always does.

"Darren and I will be trying to catch and overtake him, but in fairness I think Lee deserves to be called Europe's No 1."

In making his charge through the field, Bjorn, who was runner-up in the Open in July and third in the USPGA Championship last month - both behind Tiger Woods - hit a five iron to four feet, a bunker shot to six feet, a three iron to two feet and then rolled in an outrageous 55-foot putt. "The three iron for the eagle turned the round into something special," Bjorn said.

Bjorn almost went in the pond at the last as he tried for the birdie which would have given him his first-ever 29 for nine holes, but the ball stayed out of the water by a couple of feet and he saved par.

Westwood, despite what Bjorn said about his character, was bothered by something else as he cut short a Press conference after his round. He had just finished with a bogey six and, when the conversation turned to the number of short putts he has been missing lately, the world No 6 upped and left.

Westwood had solved the problem at the 326-yard sixth hole by holing a 96-yard pitch for an eagle two.

Clarke was in a much more relaxed frame of mind, after nearly blowing his top the previous day for missing a whole sequence of chances on the controversial greens.

Asked whether his wife, who is at home waiting for their second child to arrive next month, had given him a shopping list for the week, the Ulsterman literally took a leaf out of Mark James's book when he replied: "Yes, but I quickly binned it."

Although he felt , for the second day running, that he could have got more out of the round, Clarke kept a bogey off his card.

LEADING SECOND-ROUND SCORES: 132 E Romero (Arg) 64 68. 135 L Westwood 69 66, D Clarke 68 67; J Moseley (Aus) 68 67, H Otto (Rsa) 66 69. 136 T Bjorn (Den) 72 64. 137 P Price 69 68. 138 M Gronberg (Swe) 72 66; P Quirici (Swit) 67 71; 139 E Darcy 69 70; G Emerson 69 70; M Mouland 70 69; M Campbell (NZ) 65 74, C Hanell (Swe) 72 67; B Rumford (Aus) 67 72. 140 M A Jimenez (Sp) 69 71; A Forsbrand (Swe) 71 69; V Phillips 71 69; M Blackey 71 69; N Fasth (Swe) 74 66; P Senior (Aus) 72 68; M Brier (Aust) 70 70. 141 I Garbutt 71 70; P Lawrie 74 67; A Cabrera (Arg) 69 72; M McNulty (Zimb) 69 72; R Chapman 68 73; N Vanhootegem (Bel) 71 70; I Poulter 73 68; A Bossert (Swit) 74 67; B Davis 73 68; D Lee 70 71.

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Arts and Entertainment
Sink the Pink's 2013 New Year's Eve party
musicFour of Britain's top DJs give their verdict on how to party into 2015
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015