Colin Montgomerie, so many times Europe's Ryder Cup hero, produced a sizzling back nine to hold off American Charles Howell in the second round of the Accenture Match Play Championship yesterday.
Howell took the lead with four successive birdies from the 10th hole, but Montgomerie dug deep to birdie three of the next four and score a hard-fought one-up victory at Dove Mountain. The 59th seed, who only barely qualified for this World Golf Championships event, was excited to advance to the last 16. "That's a good effort," said Montgomerie. "Charles birdied the 11th to go all square and my caddie said, 'right, Mr Montgomerie, it's Ryder Cup mode'. I was four under from then on, so he should say that more often in stroke-play events."
European Ryder Cup captain Nick Faldo, here as a television commentator, must have been impressed, and will have another chance to watch a mini Ryder Cup showdown today as Montgomerie takes Stewart Cink.
Paul Casey recovered from a slow start to beat Bradley Dredge 2&1 and Tiger Woods also progressed, defeating Arron Oberholser 3 & 2, but Padraig Harrington, Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia all made early exits as did Phil Mickelson, beaten 2&1 by Stuart Appleby.Reuse content