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Last Updated: Friday, 17 September, 2004, 16:47 GMT 17:47 UK
Monty claims Woods scalp
Woods/Mickelson v Montgomerie/Harrington
(Europe won 2&1)

Tiger Woods and Colin Montgomerie
Europe's Colin Montgomerie and Padraig Harrington lifted their side with a shock opening 2&1 fourballs victory over Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

They led from the start to stun America's highest ranked players.

Montgomerie, who has gone through divorce in a difficult year, notched a birdie to claim the first hole as his pairing birdied five of the first six.

The US took 80 minutes to win a hole, and always trailed before Europe clinched victory on the 17th.

Montgomerie said the defeat of world number two Woods and fourth-ranked Mickelson provided a crucial early boost for Europe.

"It was very important. It was psychologically almost worth two points to us," said the Scot, who is ranked 62.

"It has been a super morning whatever happens. We have dovetailed very well."

Irishman Harrington, who maintained the European charge on the back nine, said: "We didn't give them a chance to come back."

Montgomerie, who for the first time in seven Cup appearances needed a wildcard, has now lost only two of his last 17 games in the event, while Woods has won just five of all his 16.

Sent out together for the first time ever, Woods and Mickelson struggled from the outset.

Woods, like Montgomerie and Harrington, drove into a fairway bunker on the first while Mickelson found the trees.

The Americans were back to only one down at the turn, before Harrington birdied the long 12th and 473-yard par four 14th.

Mickelson kept things alive with a 25-footer on the 16th, but a par was good enough at the next for the Europeans.

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