reports from Wentworth
Colin Montgomerie went into lunch five up on David Duval in the first round of the Toyota World Match Play Championship here and the contest went the distance. Perhaps the problem is that the rotund Scotsman had a sore wrist and a rumbling stomach.
Because of a delay to the start, Montgomerie had only 35 minutes for lunch. "That's not long enough for me," he said. He was not able to enjoy the full Monty, being restricted to sandwiches, a Mars Bar and a Coke. "I would have had a lot more," he said. The abbreviated break also meant that he did not have time to visit the physiotherapist.
It was lack of a leisurely lunch that appeared to have the more disturbing effect on Big Monty. In the morning he cruised round the Burma Road in 66 to Duval's 71 and the American, making his debut at Wentworth, never captured the lead. Duval, sporting a shirt that looked as if it was sponsored by the Chelsea Flower Show, wore sunglasses in the morning when it was misty and when the sun broke through in the afternoon he discarded the shades.
Montgomerie, with birdies at the 23rd and 24th holes, remained five up and was possibly thinking of tea and crumpets when Duval won the 28th, 29th and 30th holes with two birdies and an eagle. Things were looking gaunt for Monty when he missed short putts at the 33rd and 34th holes and he went to the 35th with his lead cut to one. Duval hit a good drive down the penultimate hole but Monty matched it and, after trading birdie fours, he won by one hole by taking control of the 36th.
"It was more of a tiring day than I anticipated," Monty said. "I had to finish four, four and I did." Today in the quarter-finals Montgomerie plays Steve Elkington, the Australian who prevented him from winning the US PGA Championship in Los Angeles in July. In a sudden death play-off Elkington won at the first extra hole. "I only had one hole then," Monty said."This time I've got a few more."
The World Match Play, launched in 1964, was not averse to the odd smoker in the field when it was sponsored by Piccadilly for 13 years; Colgate came up with a bright-smiled winner in Isao Aoki in 1978 and thereafter the championship has been sponsored by the Japanese companies, Suntory and Toyota. Alas, the obligatory Japanese player in the field has fallen short since Aoki's achievement. The latest to make a swift exit was Katsuyoshi Tomori, beaten 7 and 6 by Lee Janzen. He was soon joined in a four-wheel drive off the Burma Road and on to the A30 by Sam Torrance who was defeated 5 and 4 by Bernhard Langer.
Thus it was a case of Herr today, gone Tomori. The Japanese player, who had a good Open Championship at St Andrews, was feeling under the weather. After the pro-am on Wednesday he developed a fever and called a doctor. Tomori asked to go on a drip but the doctor told him to have a shower - "not too hot and not too cold''.
In the season of mists and mellow fever, Tomori had to sweat it out in the morning when fog delayed the start by two hours. "I sweated in the night and did not feel so hot," Tomori said. He went into lunch three down. "I felt OK when I started but I found my putting was affected," Tomori said. Despite four birdies in 12 holes in the afternoon he was comprehensively dispatched by Janzen who won at the 30th with an eagle.
Janzen, the 1993 US Open champion and the leading money winner on the US Tour this year, is still smarting from being omitted from the Ryder Cup at Oak Hill a few weeks ago. "I should have been picked," he said. "Winning this would make me feel a bit better." However, he added: "Most people in the States wouldn't know I'm here."
Torrance was no match for Langer who hardly made a mistake. On the first and third holes Torrance was disturbed by mobile phones ringing in the crowd. On the third, his caddie Malcolm Mason told a spectator: "For Christ's sake turn the bloody phone off." Torrance - in a practice round here on Tuesday he received a message on his mobile that he was to play Langer - said: "Tell them I'm not in." Tomorrow Torrance, who won pounds 30,000 for his first-round exit, partners seven-year-old Daniel in a father and son competition at Halgrove School near Camberley, Surrey.Reuse content