Sunday, January 21, 2018
Golf

Colin Montgomerie leads at Senior PGA Championship

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. — Colin Montgomerie said he looked forward to the fun when he joined the Champions Tour.

He was clearly enjoying himself Saturday in the Senior PGA Championship when he made a winding, 30-foot birdie putt on the final hole for 3-under 68 and a one-stroke lead.

"Great," he said about the birdie putt that took the sting out of a bogey at the 17th hole.

"It was going a bit quick. Thank God the hole got in the way. It was downhill, down grain, but it held its line and went in. It was a joyous occasion in the Montgomerie camp."

Trying to win his first senior major after failing to capture any of golf's four biggest events on the regular tours, the 51-year-old Scot took 7-under 206 total into the final round at Harbor Shores.

Bernhard Langer, the 56-year-old German star who has won twice this season on the tour, was a stroke back after 69 that included double bogey from a buried lie in a huge sand bunker on the seventh. He will play alongside Montgomerie for the fourth consecutive round today.

Marco Dawson, Bart Bryant and Kiyoshi Murota were tied for third at 5 under. Dawson had 64, best of the tournament. Bryant and Murota shot 70. Tom Watson, among the six-way tie for first through 36 holes, had 72 to drop four shots behind.

Montgomerie, who said he has nothing to prove to anybody or himself in golf, is trying to win an official event for the first time on U.S. soil. He does have victories in the country in the 1998 Andersen Consulting World Championship and 2000 Skins Game.

"So I came here to enjoy one's self," he said. "I would like to win wherever that might be. It would be great to try and win in America. I always felt to win in America is a very difficult thing to do, on an away patch, on golf courses that are usually suited to the American style of play."

Langer, a two-time Masters champion, has 20 victories on the tour, including majors at the 2010 U.S. Senior Open and Senior British Open. He said he has a plan for when he plays with Montgomerie again.

"I still need to play very aggressive, smart aggressive as I call it, and take my chances because Colin is playing very solid golf, and there's a whole bunch of other guys," he said. "If any of them post a 6 or 7 under in front of us, then we have our work cut out to just stay in touch."

PGA: David Toms (65), Hideki Matsuyama (64), Chad Campbell (68) and Chris Stroud (69) shared the third-round lead at 7-under 203 at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas. There were 13 players within two strokes of the quartet. The closest chasers included Adam Scott (66), the No. 1 player in the world, and Jimmy Walker (69), a three-time winner this season and No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings.

LPGA: Anna Nordqvist moved into position for her third victory of the year, shooting her second straight 6-under 66 for a third-round lead in the Airbus Classic in Mobile, Ala. The 6-foot Swede, the winner in Thailand and Carlsbad, had 16-under 200 on the Crossings course at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail's Magnolia Grove complex. Catriona Matthew, the 44-year-old Scot who led after each of the first two days, was a stroke back after 70.

PGA Europe: Thomas Bjorn birdied seven of his last eight holes to grab a five-shot lead after the third round of the BMW Championship in Virginia Water, England. The 43-year old Dane was at 15-under 201, five ahead of Luke Donald (68). Rory McIlroy (69) was in a tie for fourth, seven shots back.

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