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  Friday, 20 July, 2001, 19:27 GMT 20:27 UK
Monty one shot clear
Colin Montgomerie
Colin Montgomerie struggled to stay in front
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Colin Montgomerie recovered from a poor start to finish one shot clear of the field at seven under par after the second round of The Open at Royal Lytham.

Sweden's Pierre Fulke was alone in second after a round of 67 took him to six under par, ahead of a group of three players one shot further back.

Swede Jesper Parnevik finished the day on five under par alongside American Joe Ogilvie and Greg Owen of England, while Tiger Woods moved to three under with a round of 68.

Montgomerie missed a good chance to extend his lead on the 18th green but saw a five-foot putt go past the left-hand side of the hole, and he finished with a round of 70.

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods edged closer to the lead
"I'm experienced but this is all new territory for me," he said afterwards. "I've obviously won my orders of merit and I've been up there in other majors but this is different ground.

"But I'm keeping my emotions intact and feel quite confident at this stage."

He started the day nervously, dropping a shot on the third before birdies at the sixth, 11th and 13th restored his three-shot lead at eight under par.

But the masterful putting touch of the opening day was absent for much of the second round and he failed with a ten-foot putt on the 15th to slip back to seven under.

In calm conditions there was good scoring throughout the field, with a number of big names moving to within striking distance of Montgomerie.

Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke and Americans Mark O'Meara and Woods were just four shots off the lead on three under par, and in position to challenge over the weekend.

Greg Owen
Greg Owen led going up the 18th
After an indifferent first day, Woods looked menacing as he moved to within three shots of the lead after 14 holes.

Birdies on the sixth, seventh, 11th and 14th took him to four under, but a wayward drive led to a dropped shot at the 15th.

"I feel pretty good about where I am at right now," said Woods. "Anyone who is under par is going to be pleased because you have still got a great chance of winning this championship."

Englishman Owen briefly went to the top of the leaderboard when he holed his fifth birdie at the 17th, taking him one shot clear at six under, but two putts on the last brought him back into the group with Parnevik and Ogilvie.

Unknown American Ogilvie, two under from the first round, had holed five birdies to propel himself above Montgomerie and go seven under, but bogeys on the 15th and 17th were a disappointing end to the round.

Earlier, Parnevik had taken advantage of the sunshine and light winds, finishing the day with a three-under-par 68 to move to five under overall.

At one point, the Swede was level with Montgomerie's overnight score at six under, but bogeys at the 14th and 17th cost him the opportunity to take the lead.

Another player who prospered in the fine morning conditions was Germany's Alex Cejka who ended with a two-under-par 69 that left him four under, along with Swede Niclas Fasth and Argentine Eduardo Romero.

BBC Sport's Rob Nothman
"The pack are closing in"
Colin Montgomerie
"You try and take as many positives out of the day as you can"
Tiger Woods
"I'm trying to take care of business"
Sweden's Pierre Fulke
"I know I can beat the guys out here."

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20 Jul 01 | The Open
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