Masterful Orr capitalises on Montgomerie's shortcomings

A Scot will today head out to Kentucky for the USPGA Championship following a confidence-boosting victory, but it is not Colin Montgomerie. Rather it is Gary Orr, who won the Victor Chandler British Masters in impressive style,finishing two strokes ahead of Per-Ulrik Johansson.

A Scot will today head out to Kentucky for the USPGA Championship following a confidence-boosting victory, but it is not Colin Montgomerie. Rather it is Gary Orr, who won the Victor Chandler British Masters in impressive style,finishing two strokes ahead of Per-Ulrik Johansson.

Until February, Orr had not won in seven years on the European Tour. His near-misses included defeats by just one stroke by both Montgomerie, at the 1998 Volvo PGA, and Lee Westwood, in the Dutch Open last year. But at the Portuguese Open six months ago, Orr holed from 12 feet for an eagle at the last to pip Phillip Price.

Now the 33-year-old, originally from Helensburgh, has added one of the more important titles on tour, as well as pocketing his biggest ever cheque of £133,330. He continued a Woburn trend, for when Peter Baker in 1993 set the old Duke's Course record of 63, he went on to win, as did Ian Woosnam when he equalled the mark a year later.

On Friday, after Montgomerie had taken the first-round lead, Orr lowered the record to 62. It is not always possible to sustain such brilliance, but he followed up with rounds of 68 and, yesterday, a 70, in which he dropped only one stroke, to finish at 21 under par. It meant a second weekend of celebrations for the Burhill club, near Weybridge in Surrey. Last week, one of their star youngsters, Paul Casy, won his second English Amateur title. Orr was an assistant pro at the club and is now their touring professional.

"I enjoy just working on my game on the range but when you get a taste of winning you want to do it again," Orr said. "To beat the European No 1 for seven years was fantastic. It gives you a big boost. I expected Monty to start well but even if he had birdied the first six holes, there was nothing I could do but concentrate on what I was doing."

Orr began the round two ahead, but soon found himself only sharing the lead as Montgomerie had birdies at the first two holes. Monty, who had declared his expectation of winning the previous evening, was surely favourite, but Orr had a birdie at the par-five fourth and went two ahead at the next when Montgomerie's three-footer lipped out.

Montgomerie also saw a putt from less than two feet spin out at the ninth and the fact that four bogeys appeared on his card must be worrying with the fourth major of the year imminent. As he appreciated. "I didn't drive the ball well, I didn't hit my iron shots well, I didn't chip well and I putted poorly," he said. "Same old story. To start birdie, birdie and play the next 16 holes in one over par was very poor for someone of my calibre."

For Orr, there was no repeat of his poor drive at the 18th on Saturday, after which he was lucky to make a birdie. He appeared to coast home, but said: "It doesn't get any easier a second time. I was three or four ahead but there were still some difficult holes to play. I was leading from the sixth hole on Friday, which is a long time to be in front but everything went for me this week. I holed the right putts at the right time and always felt good about today."

Montgomerie birdied the last to take third place on his own, one behind Johansson and one ahead of Mark McNulty. He has been third twice and second once in his last three outings on the Duke's course and will hope for better luck when the tournament switches to the new Marquess course at Woburn next year. Paul Lawrie, the former Open champion, shared fifth place with Andrew Coltart and last year's winner, Bob May. Meanwhile, Woosnam was having his own private battle with two Swedes, Mathias Gronberg and Patrik Sjoland.

By beating Gronberg by two strokes, Woosie leapfrogged into the top 12 of the qualifying list for the NEC Invitational at Firestone in Akron, Ohio, a week on Thursday. Woosnam did not drop a shot in his 68 although he did have a scare at the last. "I tried to really commit myself to the drive but snap-hooked it," he said.

"If it had not hit a sponsor's board, it would have been out of bounds," he admitted Instead, he had a free drop and eventually holed from 20 feet for a birdie to finish at 13 under. Sjoland reached 15 under but missed out on an invitation to Firestone by less than £2,000.

The £3m event was originally meant to offer two-year exemptions to all Ryder Cup players but the European Tour decided to make their players re-qualify. Jesper Parnevik, Sergio Garcia and Paul Lawrie are among those who will miss out.

Woosnam, no admirer of the steamy conditions of the American Midwest, will also be at Valhalla this week, where he finished 36th four years ago. "It's a good golf course, just damn hot," he said. "I'm playing all right. It's getting better."

COMPLETE FINAL ROUND SCORES FROM WOBURN

(GB or Irl unless stated)

267 G Orr 67 62 68 70

269 P-U Johansson (Swe) 68 65 69 67

270 C Montgomerie 64 69 66 71

271 M McNulty (Zim) 65 65 71 70

272 B May (US) 69 68 67 68 A Coltart 70 65 68 69 P Lawrie 68 70 64 70

273 J Sandelin (Swe) 69 72 67 65 P Sjoland (Swe) 68 68 68 69

274 R Russell 67 71 69 67

275 R Johnson (Swe) 68 70 71 66 S Allan (Aus) 70 69 70 66 P Fulke (Swe) 69 72 68 66 I Woosnam 71 69 67 68 J Moseley (Aus) 70 66 66 73

276 P Quirici (Swit) 69 67 72 68 I Garbutt 69 65 68 74

277 J Skold (Swe) 70 71 72 64 M Gronberg (Swe) 67 70 74 66

278 N Fasth (Swe) 71 69 69 69 P O'Malley (Aus) 70 68 68 72 G Owen 69 67 69 73

279 A Forsyth 74 68 72 65 R Chapman 71 71 72 65 S Webster 72 69 70 68 M Farry (Fr) 71 67 71 70 D Borrego (Sp) 70 71 69 69 S Tinning (Den) 69 70 70 70

280 P Nyman (Swe) 69 70 73 68; G Rojas (Arg) 71 68 73 68; B Lane 71 69 71 69; D Smyth 71 70 70 69; A Hansen (Den) 69 73 69 69; T Gogele (Ger) 68 70 71 71; K Tomori (Japan) 71 70 68 71. 281 M Lafeber (Neth) 71 69 73 68; N O'Hern (Aus) 68 73 72 68; P Walton 70 69 72 70; M Scarpa (It) 70 71 70 70; V Phillips 68 71 71 71; P Affleck 72 67 70 72; M Mouland 70 72 66 73. 282 R Claydon 69 69 75 69; S Wakefield 73 69 70 70; S Struver (Ger) 71 70 70 71; C Hanell (Swe) 69 72 71 70; T Levet (Fr) 74 68 69 71; S Field 69 70 71 72; M Anglert (Swe) 70 66 73 73. 283 S Torrance 68 69 76 70; L Parsons (Aus) 76 66 71 70; N Vanhootegem (Bel) 71 70 70 72; P Eales 71 71 69 72; T Bjorn (Den) 69 71 70 73. 284 D Park 71 71 75 67; M Lanner (Swe) 72 70 73 69; J Bickerton 68 73 73 70; P Mitchell 70 68 74 72; D Gilford 70 72 70 72; A McLardy (SA) 69 71 70 74; A Sherborne 70 72 65 77. 285 D Carter 71 69 75 70; J Berendt (Arg) 70 72 73 70; A Forsbrand (Swe) 73 69 73 70; R Coughlan 75 66 73 71; T Gillis (US) 69 69 75 72; J-F Remesy (Fr) 69 72 71 73; F Tarnaud (Fr) 70 72 70 73. 286 Kyi Hla Han (Myanmar) 72 68 75 71; S Kjeldsen (Den) 70 69 75 72; H Otto (SA) 72 70 71 73; T Munoz (Sp) 68 73 67 78. 287 F Jacobson (Swe) 72 70 75 70; I Giner (Sp) 68 72 74 73; S Leaney (Aus) 73 68 73 73; G Emerson 72 70 71 74. 288 P Baker 72 67 73 76. 290 I Garrido (Sp) 71 67 74 78.

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