Montgomerie still chasing Open Championship place

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The Independent Online

Colin Montgomerie is now the proud owner of a pair of lederhosen, but what he really wants is a place in next month's Open Championship.

Last year's Ryder Cup captain was given the gift to mark his 48th birthday after an opening round of 70 at the BMW International Open in Munich yesterday.

It was a marked improvement on his last two European Tour starts - he missed the cut in both the Wales and Italian Opens - yet it still left him six strokes adrift of Swede Henrik Stenson.

Montgomerie finished last in a qualifier for The Open earlier this month, but there are still three routes to Sandwich available to him.

This week's event counts towards a current form mini-money list which ends on Sunday - two spots are up for grabs there - and the coming French and Scottish Opens each offer a place.

Montgomerie has not missed an Open since 1989 and was runner-up to Tiger Woods at St Andrews in 2005 - one of his five second places in majors.

Stenson, third at the Home of Golf last July before suffering both illness and a dramatic loss of form, led by a stroke from England's Gary Boyd overnight.

One further back when play resumed today were Scotland's 1999 Open champion Paul Lawrie, South African Jbe Kruger, Dutchman Tim Sluiter and also Englishman Danny Willett, a team-mate of new US Open champion Rory McIlory at the Walker Cup four years ago.