Montgomerie still on course

Colin Montgomerie remains on course for a fourth senior major title after a marathon day at the Senior Open Championship.

With most of Friday’s action in Berkshire having been washed out, tournament organisers took full advantage of a clear day by completing the entire second round and a good portion of the third on Saturday.

Montgomerie, who is in the hunt for a fourth senior major title, started the day on five under, having completed 12 holes of his second round.

He would pick up one more birdie before signing for a second successive three-under-par 67, and then started his third round like a house on fire, birdying his first three holes right out of the gate.

The Scot would add one more birdie at the ninth moments before bad light stopped play for the day.

“I was four under for the front nine and I started off well, birdie, birdie, birdie and kept it going, so I look forward to tomorrow,” said Montgomerie. “It was exactly what I wanted.”

That left him on 10 under par midway through his third round, which was level with American Marco Dawson, who held the outright lead at the end of the second round.

Playing alongside Montgomerie in the final group, Dawson was two under for his round through nine holes to lie alongside his playing partner on 10 under.

“I was just trying to stay energised,” said Dawson. “It was a long day. And now it’s going to be even longer because we are going to have to go for a quick dinner and have to get up early, finish our second nine and go back out and play another 18. This is just a survival test now. It’s been fun.”

American Fred Couples follows on eight under, two shots back, alongside Welshman Phillip Walton. Couples had completed 11 holes of his second round, while Walton was six under through 17 holes of his third round, having risen 16 places into a tie for third.

Four players lie on seven under – Bart Bryant, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Peter Fowler and Bernhard Langer – all of whom still had at least eight holes of their third round to complete.

Tom Watson had already reached the clubhouse with a third-round 66 to move to five under par, five shots off the pace.

The tournament will attempt to finish both the third and fourth round on Sunday.