Montgomerie lifts hopes with hole in one

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The Independent Online

Tiger Woods threw his club to the ground in fury and Colin Montgomerie holed in one as Nick Price maintained his grip on the World Golf Championship here yesterday.

Tiger Woods threw his club to the ground in fury and Colin Montgomerie holed in one as Nick Price maintained his grip on the World Golf Championship here yesterday.

Woods lost his temper after falling prey again to the controversial 17th hole. His second shot caught the bank in front of the green and trickled back into the water. It was the third time in a row that the world's best player, who ended on four under par after a second round of 69, had been sunk by the par-five.

At least Woods managed to scramble a par. The previous day, he had found the water in identical fashion and dropped a shot. Last year, his ball had spun back into the water during the final round, costing him a triple-bogey and almost the tournament.

Woods was guarded about his feelings. "It is what it is," he said. "A par-five with danger and risk-reward. I hit a nine-iron from 165 yards but the wind battered it down."

Montgomerie refuses to give up on his chances of an eighth consecutive European Order of Merit. The Scotsman bounced back from a three-over-par 75 on Thursday to post a five-under 67. Montgomerie had two eagles in his round. He holed a 100-yard wedge shot at the par-four second hole, and then holed in one at the par-three 12th with a four-iron. It was his second hole in one in eight days.

As far as the Scotsman is concerned, the Order of Merit race is not over. "If I can put two 66s together to get to 14 under, you never know," he said. "I haven't given up. I know this course as well as anybody. I've won here before. I've been in a play-off before. I have good memories of this place."

Price has recaptured some of the form that saw him win three major championships in the early 1990s. He leads by two strokes over Japan's Hidemichi Tanaka, and by three over Ireland's Padraig Harrington. The Americans Mark Calcavecchia and Duffy Waldorf share fourth spot on five under par.

The Zimbabwean returned a level par 72 yesterday to stay on nine under par and take the lead into the weekend. Tanaka is on seven under, while Harrington is six under. Price said his 72 was just the score he was looking for yesterday.

"I went and did what I wanted to do today, which was to shoot around par and not make too many mistakes," he said. Two dropped shots on the last four holes spoiled Price's round, but he said that came as no surprise. "Today was the kind of day where I really couldn't gain a lot but I could lose a lot. "

Harrington did not play as well on the greens as he did on Thursday, and admitted to leaving a lot of shots on the golf course as a result.

Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood, No 1 and 2 on the European money list respectively, returned scores of 70 and 72 and are tied on level par.

Tanaka is playing in his first World Golf Championship and admitted being nervous. When asked about playing in a tournament with Woods, he replied: "I just want his autograph."

* Ken Schofield, the European Tour executive director, would "personally welcome" an independent audit of the company's books. About 60 players signed a petition last week asking for the review. There have been no allegations of corruption.

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (Valderrama) Leading second-round scores (GB and Irl unless stated): 135 N Price (Zim) 63 72. 137 H Tanaka (Japan) 71 66. 138 P Harrington 66 72. 139 M Calcavecchia (US) 72 67; D Waldorf (US) 70 69. 140 T Woods (US) 71 69; B May (US) 71 69; C Perry (US) 68 72. 141 V Singh (Fiji) 71 70; J Coceres (Arg) 70 71. 142 C Montgomerie 75 67; F Langham (US) 68 74; A Coltart 67 75. 143 M Campbell (NZ) 72 71; J Maggert 72 71; E Romero (Arg) 71 72; S Flesch (US) 71 72; S Garcia (Sp) 69 74; N Henning (SA) 69 74; M Weir (Can) 68 75; S Hoch (US) 67 76. 144 B Langer (Ger) 75 69; D Clarke 74 70; M Gronberg (Swe) 74 70; L Westwood 72 72; R Goosen (SA) 69 75. 145 P Price 73 72; K Triplett (US) 72 73; G Orr 71 74; D Toms (US) 70 75; R Allenby (Aus) 69 76. 146 D Paulson (US) 75 71; N Sato (Japan) 73 73; J Leonard (US) 72 74; J M Olazabal (Sp) 70 76; C Franco (Par) 69 77. 147 M A Jimenez (Sp) 74 73; T Bjorn (Den) 70 77; P McGinley 70 77. 148 A Cabrera (Arg) 74 74; C DiMarco (US) 74 74; J Parnevik (Swe) 72 76; N Ozaki (Japan) 72 76; D Hart (US) 72 76; S Appleby (Aus) 72 76; S Maruyama (Japan) 71 77. 149 T Van der Walt (SA) 76 73; Kyi Hla Han (Burma) 75 74; R Mediate (US) 71 78. 150 L Parsons (Aus) 78 72; P Senior (Aus) 73 77. 151 S Verplank (US) 71 80. 152 P Fulke (Swe) 75 77. 156 D Fichardt (SA) 76 80.