DUVAL surges at British Open; Woods, Monty falter

Saturday, July 21st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LYTHAM ST. ANNES, England (AP) _ David Duval shot the day's best round with a 65 and was in a four-way tie for the lead after three rounds of the British Open.

Going into Sunday's final round 27 players are within four shots of the lead _ and Tiger Woods is not among them, five strokes back after a 2-over-par 73.

Duval was joined on Saturday by Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam and Alex Cejka at 6-under 207 at Royal Lytham & St. Annes.

Woods struggled with wayward shots that found deep rough, bushes and even a grandstand in a round that left him at 1 under for the tournament.

Woods smiled walking toward the 18th green after having to take a drop and chop out of the rough, but his score was nothing to smile about on a day when he seemed on the verge of making a move with birdies on two of the first four holes.

Cejka, a German who missed the cut in seven European tour events this year and was disqualified in two others, had the lead by himself before back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 15 and 16.

Jesper Parnevik double bogeyed the 17th hole to drop out of the lead and finish at 5 under. Greg Owen was another stroke back after three successive late bogeys.

Owen got there into contention by taking advantage of a long iron that bounced once and went into the cup on the par-5 11th hole for a double eagle to jump up the leaderboard and be only one back with five holes left.

Colin Montgomerie also struggled, making a double bogey out of a fairway bunker on the 13th hole that put him a shot back at 5 under with a 73.

Duval played early and posted a score for the later starters to look at.

He took advantage of ideal playing conditions to birdie seven of the first 14 holes and briefly move into a tie for the lead. But he bogeyed the 15th from deep rough and played the final four holes in 1 over.

Duval was a shot off the course record of 64 by Tom Lehman when he won in 1996.

``I got myself back into it today and that's where I want to be,'' said Duval, chasing his first major championship.

Woods wasn't where he wanted to be after making a double bogey on No. 7 and a string of bogeys from shots he couldn't keep on the short grass.

Woods made three birdies on the front nine, but didn't make a birdie after the double bogey on seven. He finished with a bogey on the 18th hole after hitting it deep into the crowd and almost into the grandstand.

Woods cursed his ball and threw a tee after a bad tee shot on No. 3, and had to use eye drops to clear his contacts after getting sand in them from a bunker shot on 17.

A number of other players who began the day at even par with Duval also made moves as light winds and overcast skies kept the course playing soft and made birdies plentiful.

Sergio Garcia and Ernie Els both shot 67s to get to 4 under, as did U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen.

The strong early play meant that the leaders couldn't be satisfied with making pars if they were to remain atop the leaderboard on a course that suddenly proved itself vulnerable.

A day earlier, the gallery seemingly willed Montgomerie on, perhaps giving him some help as a shot destined for the crowd and deep grass sailed right of the seventh green. A few seconds later, it rolled down a cart path onto the fairway.

``We'll help you Monty,'' the fans yelled as a bemused Montgomerie walked up to his ball.

If they could, almost all the 41,500 who traveled by train and car to the seaside links would pitch in to win one for the ruddy Scotsman.

But they can't erase Montgomerie's history of failure in this major championship. Montgomerie has to do that himself in what shapes up to be the weekend of his golfing life.

``This is all new territory for me,'' Montgomerie said. ``I haven't done a bad job, but at the same time I haven't been in this position in the Open before.''