Colin Montgomerie makes mark in Senior Championship

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COLIN Montgomerie capped a promising start to his over-50s career by signing off with a five-under-par 65 to secure a top-ten finish in the US Senior Players Championship in Pittsburgh.

A six-birdie closing effort gave the eight-time European No 1 a 72-hole total of 272, eight-under, and a share of ninth spot at Fox Chapel.

Former Ryder Cup player Kenny Perry shot 63-63-64 in his last three rounds to win a low-scoring event on 19-under, finishing two ahead of fellow Americans Fred Couples and Duffy Waldorf.

But it was an encouraging first outing for Montgomerie as he finished as the leading British player in the first of three majors he contests over a five-week period.

Despite running up a quadruple-bogey 7 at the 15th, the 2010 European Ryder Cup captain signed for a level-par 70 when he returned on Saturday morning to complete his second round after play had been abandoned on Friday due to bad weather.

He then carded a 68 in the third round and bagged four birdies in the opening seven holes, then two more in the last three in his closing circuit.

Montgomerie is due to fly back from America today ahead of his appearance at Gullane tomorrow in the Local Final Qualifying for the Open Championship.

He then has the US Senior Open at Omaha in Nebraska next week, followed by the Senior Open at Royal Birkdale a fortnight after that.

Bernhard Langer, who closed with rounds of 63 and 67, was the leading European in Pittsburgh, pipping his former Ryder Cup team-mate by a shot, while Sandy Lyle’s closing 66 earned him a share of 22nd.