Mont­gomerie buoyed by gallant ti­tle de­fence bid

The Herald - Sport - - FINAL SAY - BRUCE LANGHOLM

DE­FEND­ING cham­pion Colin Mont­gomerie fin­ished sec­ond at the US Se­nior Open at Del Paso Coun­try Club in Sacra­mento on Sun­day.

The 52-year-old headed into the fi­nal day one shot off the lead and came home two shots be­hind win­ner Jeff Mag­gert, who carded 65 to fin­ish 10 un­der par. The Scot, who beat Gene Sauers in a three-hole play-off in Ed­mond, Ok­la­homa last year, fin­ished with a flaw­less round of 66 that in­cluded four birdies but Mag­gert’s six birdies saw the Amer­i­can overnight leader clinch the win.

Mont­gomerie was tak­ing an overnight flight to Lon­don – via Los An­ge­les – to try and qual­ify for next month’s Open Cham­pi­onship at St An­drews. He said he did all he could to win in Sacra­mento, but Mag­gert was just bet­ter this time.

“To come here tired, very tired, and to put a good per­for­mance up, it’s al­ways nice when you are de­fend­ing a ti­tle, to de­fend it prop­erly,” said Mont­gomerie. “I did more than that. I nearly got it here.”

Mag­gert, who had 13 top-10 fin­ishes in ma­jors in more than 20 years on the PGA Tour, said: “I had a lot of good runs in the US Open over the years and prob­a­bly lacked a lit­tle ma­tu­rity to pull it off.

“But cer­tainly, now that I’m an old guy, I’ve learned a lot and was able to just steady my­self and play well.”

Of the last eight se­nior ma­jors, Mag­gert has now won two, while Mont­gomerie and Langer have won three each.

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