Tour Cham­pi­onship

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Rus­sell Knox’s bounced back su­perbly fol­low­ing a hor­ror first round with five birdies in a fou­run­der-par 66 to move inside the club­house top-10 at one-un­der par.

Af­ter hit­ting just six greens in reg­u­la­tion on day one, Knox dou­bled that fig­ure, mak­ing three birdies in four holes from the 11th.

“Af­ter be­ing more in the fair­way today, my iron-play was really di­alled-in as I hit a lot of sloppy 8- and 9-iron shots so [I’m] a lot hap­pier walk­ing off today and [I’m] very pleased,” he said. “Af­ter that poor first round and I was really just hop­ing to get a lit­tle bit of mo­men­tum go­ing. I’ve put my­self back in the mix and that’s su­per.

Ja­son Day, the world No.1, with­drew last night on the eighth hole af­ter sus­tain­ing a back in­jury. been re-branded the Easy Ry­der Cup due to the US dom­i­nance, the tide has turned and Europe head into next week’s skir­mish aim­ing for an un­prece­dented four wins in a row. Since 1995, the Euro­peans have won eight of the last 10 meet­ings be­tween the sides and Mont­gomerie has savoured this pe­riod of pros­per­ity. The USA ain’t good losers, so ask­ing a man who has of­ten been dubbed ‘Mr Ry­der Cup’ whether he would like to see an Amer­i­can win to main­tain the com­pet­i­tive na­ture of the matches is akin to high trea­son. Mont­gomerie accepts the point, though.

“To lose the Ry­der Cup seven or eight times is some­thing that is very, very one-sided and for the next one in France, we are bound to be the favourites again on home soil,” he added. “This is a very im­por­tant Ry­der Cup for Amer­ica. There is a lot of pres­sure on Amer­ica to try to win this.

“Would it be good for the Ry­der Cup if Amer­ica win? As a lover of the Ry­der Cup, then pos­si­bly. As a lover of Euro­pean golf, though, I can’t pos­si­bly say that be­cause I would like us to win it all the time but it has got to be a con­test and they know that as well.

“They are em­bar­rassed at the way they have per­formed over the last 12 years really so they want it back badly. If you are sit­ting di­rectly on the fence as a neu­tral your an­swer would be ‘yes, let’s have an Amer­i­can win’ but you are talk­ing to the wrong guy as far as want­ing that is con­cerned. But com­pe­ti­tion makes the world go round.”

In just six days, this par­tic­u­lar com­pe­ti­tion will be at the cen­tre of the golf­ing world.

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