Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rain Costs a Day's Action at la Costa

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Rain Costs a Day's Action at la Costa

Article excerpt

Byline: By Phil Casey

The second day of the Accenture Match Play Championship was completely washed out in California yesterday.

Torrential overnight rain left large parts of the course under water and meant no play was possible in the second round of the pounds 3.7m event at La Costa.

Play will resume this morning, weather permitting, with a 7am start (local time) from both the first and 10th tees.

Both the second and third rounds are now scheduled for today.

Seven Europeans have made it through to the last 32 - Colin Montgomerie, Padraig Harrington, Ian Poulter, Darren Clarke, Thomas Bjorn, Fredrik Jacobson and Alex Cejka - and Europe is guaranteed two players in the third round with Bjorn facing Jacobson and Clarke taking on Cejka.

Montgomerie was two down with three to play against Nick Price in the first round, but won the next two holes and then birdied the second extra hole to set up a second round clash with American Stewart Cink.

The Scot was full of confidence afterwards, buoyed by the manner of his victory and the boost it will give to his battle to get back into the world's top 50.

The former world number two began the week in 57th in the current standings, outside the all-important top 50 which guarantees entry into major championships and the biggest and most lucrative events. As things stand, the 40-year-old is not even exempt for this year's Open championship at his home course of Royal Troon, or the US Open he came so close to winning on three occasions.

"I was beating myself at two over par after 14 holes, which I'm good at in this event, so I am delighted to come back that way and win three of the last five holes," said the former European number one.

"When I had to hole a putt on 16 and I did, and when I had a chance on the 20th hole I holed that, and that's very satisfying. Don't tell Stewart Cink but I feel one up on the first tee somehow, finishing that way."

Montgomerie admitted his recent struggles have made him more appreciative of his phenomenally consistent form of the 1990s, and claims he would enjoy it more if he could get back to his peak.

And the 40-year-old talked candidly about how difficult that will be, both on and off the course. …

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