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  Thursday, 19 July, 2001, 14:35 GMT 15:35 UK
Monty: I enjoy being the underdog
Colin Montgomerie
Monty has put himself in pole position
Colin Montgomerie was understandably delighted after his six-under-par opening round 65 put him in a superb position at the Open.

The Scot, who was quoted at odds as long as 50-1 to win the Championship, sent the Royal Lytham crowd wild after a birdie frenzy which culminated in a long putt on the 18th.


Whenever I drive the ball well I was always have an opportunity
Colin Montgomerie
"I had to make the final hole. That was a real bonus for it to go in," he said.

The former European Tour number one added that the omens were good right from the first tee.

"I was fortunate on the first hole that I was third to go off," said Montgomerie.

"The other guys used a six iron and fell short, which made my mind up to use the five iron.

"I hit good iron shots on the eighth, ninth and 10th and then holed the putts. I never did that in the past."

The Scot added that he was buoyed on by the enthusiastic Lytham support.

"The crowd were willing them in at 15, 16 and 17 - they were good putts but they still had to be holed, and that's where they helped."

Unfancied

There was a blemish during his Montgomerie's round.

"I three putted the 14th. I was watching Fred Couples have a nightmare and I think I lost my concentration - but I did well to come back again," he said.

He added that being unfancied for this year's title has been to his benefit.

" I think I was quoted at 40-1 at the start of the tournament. But I felt not being the favourite has taken the pressure off me lightly.

"Whenever I drive the ball well I was always have an opportunity."

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Colin Montgomerie
"40/1 - it's great - I'd have put money on myself"
The 130th Open, at Royal Lytham

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