Saucier, MI (SportsNetwork.com) – Colin Montgomerie and Joe Durant both posted
5-under 67s on Friday and share of the first-round lead at the Mississippi
Gulf Resort Classic.
Montgomerie won two majors last season on the Champions Tour, while Durant is
looking for his first tour win. Durant did win four times on the PGA Tour.
Woody Austin carded a 4-under 68 at Fallen Oak Golf Club. He was joined in
third place by Brad Faxon, David Frost, Kevin Sutherland and Gene Sauers.
Billy Andrade, last year’s runner-up, shares eighth place with Loren Roberts
and Tom Pernice, Jr. at minus-3.
Montgomerie played the back nine first in round one and opened with a birdie
at the 10th. He posted three straight pars before dropping in a birdie chance
on the par-3 14th.
The Scotsman made it two in a row with a birdie at the 15th. However, he
faltered to a bogey at 16. Montgomerie erased that mistake with a birdie at
the 18th en route to making the turn at minus-3.
Around the turn, Montgomerie converted another birdie chance on No. 1. He
followed with seven consecutive pars before making birdie at the ninth to grab
a piece of the lead.
“Five-under par is a good score today. Anything under par is a good score
today with very testing conditions. Every shot today was different from
yesterday because the wind was completely different,” Montgomerie said. “This
is a very, very good course, perhaps the best we play on this tour, and it’s
even more challenging in the wind.”
Durant, who was in the first group out off the 10th tee, started with a birdie
on his opening hole, but he gave that shot back two holes later when he
bogeyed the 12th.
After four straight pars, Durant converted a birdie try on the par-3 17th.
Starting the first, he birdied three of the first four holes to jump to
Durant wrapped birdies at the seventh and ninth around a bogey at the eighth.
“The wind was tough out there. It was swirly and gusty, but if you can put the
ball in the right places on the greens, you can make some putts,” stated
Durant. “It was a good test today.”
NOTES: This is the third time Montgomerie has had a piece of the first-round
leader on the Champions Tour, while Durant is in that position for the fourth
time on the Champions Tour … Defending champion Jeff Maggert is part of a
large group tied in 25th place at 1-over 73.