Monty off the pace at Walton Heath

Monty off the pace at Walton Heath

Colin Montgomerie was only in joint 28th place after a level-par first round of 72 in the fog-delayed US Open qualifying event at Walton Heath today.

A total of 82 players were competing for 11 spots at Congressional, the course where Montgomerie was runner-up to Ernie Els in 1997.

Because of the suspension of almost 3 1/2 hours at the start, however, the 36-hole tournament was almost certainly going to spill into a second day.

Montgomerie, who after turning in 33 bogeyed the 10th and 12th, trailed Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts by eight shots.

Colsaerts, a semi-finalist in the Volvo World Match Play in Spain two weeks ago, grabbed an eagle and 10 birdies in an eight-under-par 64 to lead by two from France’s Thomas Levet.

“I had no idea of my score until I signed my card – I was just in the zone,” said Colsaerts.

Ryder Cup team member Ross Fisher, fifth in the US Open only two years ago, managed only a 74 but there is still another route for him into the second major of the season.

Fisher is 52nd in the world rankings and will earn a place if he climbs back into the top 50 by Sunday week.

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