Colin Montgomerie ready to go again in seniors open

Colin Montgomerie will get little respite after an arduous week at the US Open when he defends the senior equivalent in Sacramento this week.

Colin Montgomerie ready to go again in seniors open

Montgomerie was the only Champions Tour member to make the cut at Chambers Bay, rolling back the years with an opening 69 before going on to finish in a tie for 64th.

The 51-year-old was taken aback by the fact the controversial course played to 7,695 yards in the second round, making it the longest in US Open history, with the front nine on Friday measuring 4,020 yards, another record.

And although Del Paso Country Club will measure ’only’ 6,994 yards, the par-70 layout will feature the 636-yard 15th hole, the longest par five in US Senior Open history.

The 490-yard third hole will be the fifth longest par four for a Senior Open and the 228-yard fifth hole will tie the fourth longest par three in the event’s history.

Montgomerie and former Ryder Cup team-mate Bernhard Langer have won six of the last seven majors on the Champions Tour, with Langer securing victory at the Constellation Senior Players Championship a fortnight ago.

But the European pair could face a stern challenge this week from American Kevin Sutherland, who grew up in a house just 300 yards from the course and who is now a club member.

“To play a course I’ve played just about every day when I’m at home, it’s been a great experience,” Sutherland said.

“It’s something that not all LPGA or PGA players get a chance to do. It’s a special treat.

“You’re really going to need to be playing from the fairway to hit good shots into the green and to be able to keep it out of the rough around the greens.

“The rough around the greens is so severe that it just makes it really tough to kind of scrape it around this golf course right now.

“The USGA came in here about two years ago and they made some, I would say, significant changes to the fairway width, which is pretty much what they are today.

“One big difference between today and what we normally see is the greens aren’t normally this quick.

“They’re usually incredibly smooth and very good putting surfaces, but they’re probably a good two or three feet faster than normal. For me, it’s a bit of an adjustment.

“The putts that I’m used to being a certain speed are obviously quite a bit quicker. So I think slowly, as I’ve been playing the practice rounds, I’m getting used to the different speed of the greens.

“I’m going to have to make sure that I just don’t fall back on what I’ve done in the past here as far as lag putting goes and be conscious of the fact that they’re going to be faster than I’m used to.”

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