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  • Wales Open, Round One

Welsh woe for Monty and Lawrie

ESPN staff
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Colin Montgomerie had a three-over 74 © PA Photos
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Colin Montgomerie enjoyed arguably the greatest moment of his career at Celtic Manor in 2010, but he was unable to use those memories to spur him on as he toiled at the Wales Open on Thursday.

World No. 409 Montgomerie, who skippered the European team to Ryder Cup glory at the Newport course nearly two years ago, posted a first-round 74 (three over) which gives him only a slim chance of making the weekend.

The Scot made a good fist of trying to qualify for the US Open earlier this week at Walton Heath - although he fell short of grabbing one of the 11 places on offer. However, that was not the precursor for more success a few days later.

His scorecard at Celtic Manor was as chaotic as any in his career: one triple-bogey, one double-bogey, four bogeys and six birdies providing the perfect illustration of the inconsistency that has plagued the recent years of his career. Montgomerie, a 31-time winner on the European Tour, last added to that tally in 2007.

His countryman Paul Lawrie said earlier this week that qualifying for this year's Ryder Cup would be the biggest accomplishment of his career - but he failed to creep closer towards that goal with a 74.

Lawrie, second in the Ryder Cup points list and with one hand on a spot in Jose Maria Olazabal's team, was runner-up at the BMW PGA Championship last week - yet he did not play like a man fifth in the Race to Dubai and riding a wave of momentum.

It was a streaky round from the former Open champion, who had a double bogey, five bogeys and four birdies - most of which were clumped together as he generated short bursts of both success and turmoil.

England's Lee Slattery, who managed to qualify for the US Open where Montgomerie failed, is the early clubhouse leader at four under.

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