Monty one off the lead in French chal­lenge

GOLF

Evening Express (Extra Edition) - - SPORT -

SCOT­LAND’S Colin Mont­gomerie was just one shot off the pace in the early stages of the Al­stom Open de France to­day.

The win­ning Euro­pean Ry­der Cup cap­tain, who started at the 10th, opened with a par be­fore mov­ing into red fig­ures with a birdie two at the 11th.

A par at the third left Mont­gomerie on one-un­der-par just one shot be­hind a clus­ter of play­ers on two un­der.

Chris­tian Nils­son, of Swed e n , I r e l a n d ’ s D a mi e n McGrane, Eng­land’s David Lynn, Pablo Lar­raz­a­bal of Spain and Dan­ish pair Jeppe Hul­dahl Soren Kjeld­sen were all on two-un­der.

Ger­many’s Martin Kaymer joined Mont­gomerie on one un­der af­ter he also birdied the 11th.

Mont­gomerie’s fel­low Scot Peter White­ford was level par through three while David Drys­dale was one shot fur­ther back af­ter four holes.

Stephen Gal­lacher was one over through four holes.

Aberdeen’s Richie Ram­say, Ital­ian Mat­teo Manassero and Dar­ren Clarke, of North­ern Ire­land were among the later starters.

Amer­i­can Bubba Wat­son, mak­ing a rare ap­pear­ance in Europe, was also one of the af­ter­noon starters.

IN THE SIL­VER: From left, Euro­pean Tour chief ex­ec­u­tive Ge­orge O’Grady, Scot­land’s First Min­is­ter Alex Sal­mond and Ian Stu­art, head of Bar­clays Cor­po­rate UK, un­veil the new tro­phy for the Scot­tish Open.

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