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Colin Montgomerie is a long shot to contend, but at least he has the chance to compete for Ryder Cup points. (Heathcote/Getty Images)

Monty pleased with his comeback from brink of disaster

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Colin Montgomerie played the first six holes of his second round in 7 over par, but then buckled down and covered the remaining 12 in 2 under to make the cut.

SOUTHPORT, England (PA) - Colin Montgomerie was proud of his battling display after his worst-ever start to a tournament round on Friday.

The eight-time leading money winner on the European Tour played the first six holes of his second round in 7 over par - including an air shot on the fifth - but covered the remaining 12 in 2 under to make the weekend.

At 8 over, Montgomerie is a long shot to contend over the last two rounds, but at least he has the chance to compete for Ryder Cup points after avoiding a total meltdown.

The Scot ran up a double bogey on the second, a triple bogey on the fifth and another double on the sixth, but then birdied the seventh, eighth and 17th in a round of 75.

"I hit two great drives on five and six and I end up scoring 5 over par for the two of them," said the 45-year-old. "Seven over after six, it's the worst start I think I've ever made in any event.

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"At that stage you're not thinking about anything else than trying to play on Saturday," he explained. "I stood on the seventh tee and put a good swing on a 5-iron and almost holed it and thought 'Okay come on, we can do this. We're back to 9 over now and the cut is going to be around about that.'

"In the end of the day I'm quite proud I managed to play the last 12 holes in 2 under, feeling the way I did walking off the sixth green, because that wasn't a great feeling, believe me."

"The weather forecast is awful so if you can get out early tomorrow like I'm doing and score like Camilo Villegas you can get into position," said Montgomerie, who is nine shots behind leader KJ Choi.

Ian Poulter is England's closest challenger at 3 over. The 32-year-old carded a 1-over 71 after opening with a 72 and said the most important thing was to ensure he had a late tee time on Saturday, when the worst of the weather - with 45mph winds - is predicted to be over.

"I was aware the forecast tomorrow afternoon was better than tomorrow morning so I wanted to play well this afternoon for that fact," he said. "I can have a nice lie in, turn the TV on and get a nice afternoon tee-off time.

"I'll learn a bit from the telly, see some lines and then go and play golf," he explained. "If there is no rain and wind at 15mph, you are going to see a few scores, but if there is wind and rain it is going to be tricky.

"But I am in position. I am playing good."

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