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GOLF ROUNDUP

Montgomerie comes bouncing back at Johnnie Walker

Colin Montgomerie is looking to bounce back quickly after blowing his chance to win last week's US Open.

Montgomerie shot his second straight 5-under-par 68 yesterday -- his 43d birthday -- for a two-shot lead after two rounds of the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, Scotland.

Paul Casey, with a 71, was second with four players another shot back in third. Montgomerie was at 10-under 136 at the par-73 Centenary Course.

Montgomerie double-bogeyed the final hole at the US Open when he would have won his first major title with a par.

Montgomerie could have led by more yesterday, but three-putted from 20 feet on his final hole.

``Two good shots into the ninth and from 20 feet I three-putted," Montgomerie said. ``I don't know what's going on -- it's not good at all. If I can't two-putt from 20 feet, there's something wrong."

On Thursday, Montgomerie bogeyed the last hole, after taking three shots to get down from a bunker.

``Did it tarnish the US Open? Of course it did," he said of his final hole woes. ``Did it tarnish my rounds yesterday and today? Yes."

PGA -- Ben Curtis made a 5-foot birdie putt on his final hole, giving him a one-stroke edge over Jose Coceres at the Booz Allen Classic at Potomac, Md.

Curtis followed his first-round 62 with a 65 at the TPC at Avenel, putting him at 15 under par and setting a tournament record for best score after 36 holes.

Brett Quigley of Barrington, R.I., shot 63, the best round of the day, and is five back.

Champions -- Allen Doyle had nine birdies -- six on putts of fewer than 10 feet -- in a 7-under that gave him a one-stroke lead over Gil Morgan after the first round of the Commerce Bank Championship at East Meadow, N.Y.

Tom Wargo, Jack Ferenz, Don Pooley, and Jim Ahern all had opening 67s and were one stroke in front of a group of six that included Bruce Fleisher, who won this tournament in 1999 and 2000.

LPGA -- South Korea's Shi Hyun Ahn shot a 1-under 71 to retain a one-stroke lead after the second round of the Rochester LPGA at Pittsford, N.Y.

Ahn moved to 8-under 136, just ahead of 20-year-old rookies Seon-Hwa Lee and Brittany Lang.

PGA Pro Championship -- Alan Schulte has a one-shot lead after the second round at the 39th PGA Professional National Championship at Verona, N.Y. Schulte shot a 69 for a two-day total of 136. Three players, including defending champion Mike Small, are one shot off the pace.

US Men's Public Links qualifying -- Robert Reed of Claremont, N.H., a junior-to-be at Boston College, and Daniel Arvanitis of Manchester, N.H., qualified at Bretwood GC in Keene, N.H. Reed was 9-under 135 after two days of qualifying. Arvanitis shot 64-75--139.

The US Amateur Public Links Championship will be played July 10-15 at Bremerton, Wash.

US Women's Public Links -- At Pueblo, Colo., California teenager Mina Harigae easily advanced to the quarterfinals, while co-medalist Hannah Jun was eliminated in the second round.

Phil Mickelson has pulled out of the next week's ING Par-3 Shootout at Gaylord, Mich., a usually laid-back event that he says he can't even pretend to have fun at after his collapse at the US Open.

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