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USPGA Championship: Montgomerie sees Kuchar dazzle in the fog

Colin Montgomerie would rather have spoken in glowing terms about one of his own Ryder Cup players, but that did not stop him eulogising about American Matt Kuchar.

As the USPGA Championship continued after yet another fog delay at windy Whistling Straits Kuchar, paired with Europe's struggling captain, marched into the lead at golf's final major of the season.

While Montgomerie was 14 over par and in dead last place in what could prove to be his last major, former US Amateur winner Kuchar was eight under with four holes of his second round remaining.

“Very impressed,” said Montgomerie after he had signed for an opening 79 and Kuchar for a 67 when the first round was finally completed during the morning.

“He's a very, very solid player — as solid as I have played with on the US Tour for a long time — and someone who will be a great asset to their Ryder Cup team, I am sure.”

The Scot managed only 40 to the turn when they set off again shortly afterwards, but Kuchar, seventh in the standings at the start of the final counting event for the Americans, followed an outward 36 with a hat-trick of birdies from the 11th.

That gave him a three-stroke lead, but it was cut to two by compatriot Bryce Molder and then by England's Simon Khan when he chipped in for eagle at the 355-yard sixth.

Khan was ranked 471st in the world when he won Europe's PGA Championship at Wentworth in May. Last November's qualifying school winner received a late invitation to that and only discovered last week that he would be in Wisconsin now.

The Essex man first had to play the last 11 holes of his first round and finished with a 69 that could have been at least two strokes better as he three-putted from just off the green at both the 18th and ninth. Kuchar was also up early, saying: “I never wake up in the best of spirits, so it was just some extra time to kind of get my body back in sync again.”

Belfast Telegraph

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