Montgomerie slips up as the walking wounded pursue Turner

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The Independent Online
No wonder the Fremantle Doctor made such hurried progress up the Swan Valley to The Vines resort. Such was the catalogue of hand, wrist, shoulder and foot injuries that was revealed after the morning session of the Heineken Classic that the good doctor felt compelled to be in attendance. The sea breeze may have brought a welcome cooling effect, but it was an ill wind to those concerned with chasing the earlier efforts of two New Zealanders: Greg Turner, who shot a seven-under 65, and Frank Nobilo, who came in with a 66.

Among those out in the afternoon was Colin Montgomerie. A stomach virus picked up in Asia last year, but only properly diagnosed on Monday, means he is on antibiotics and off alcohol. You may have been forgiven for thinking otherwise when Monty tripped over a sprinkler head on the 14th fairway.

Montgomerie was walking backwards at the time and ended up on his backside. He could see the funny side. Too much so. "I lost concentration," he admitted. Monty proceeded to duff his wedge shot and take a bogey. Brian Lara, relaxing prior to final Australia-West Indies Test which starts at the WACA in Perth on Saturday, probably thought he could do better.

Europe's No 1 claimed birdies at two of the last three holes to leave himself five behind and hoping to catch up in the calm conditions of an early tee time this morning. Like his score, his illness did not compare to what those above him have suffered.

Turner had to reconstruct his swing after he tore the tendon sheath in his left wrist. Michael Campbell, three under, suffered the same injury last year. "I played like Frank Nobilo," Turner said. Nobilo did not. Unusually erratic from the tee, he reckoned Houdini could not have may more escapes.

Prior to last week, Nobilo had not played for two months since winning the Sarazen World Open in Atlanta. He has been undergoing cortisone injections after being diagnosed with synovitis after what was initially a shoulder problem produced a lump two-thirds the size of an olive in his left hand. "I could not grip the club," Nobilo said. "My shoulders and elbows locked up. It was absolute misery.''

Scores, Digest, page 27