COLIN Montgomerie gave himself the chance to qualify for another major today after an amazing 900-mile drive to fetch a new putter.
After slumping to a closing 81 yesterday in the BMW PGA Championship, for his worst-ever score at Wentworth, Montgomerie headed home to Scotland and then came back down to Surrey for the 36-hole US Open qualifier at Walton Heath.
After starting with a four-under-par 68 as 81 players battled for 11 spots, the former Ryder Cup captain was asked to confirm the mind-boggling story.
"Who in their right mind would do that? But yes, I did," said Montgomerie.
"I left Wentworth at 2pm, was home at 8pm, had tea with the family, left at 11pm and got here just after 6am.
"Last week was very disappointing. I putted like an idiot and played like one too."
His 68 on the Old Course left him only one behind two behind the early pacesetter, Korean Sihwan Kim, whose score came on the adjoining New Course.
Current Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal started with a five under par 67 on the New, where fellow Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal and South African George Coetzee joined Kim out in front on 66.
"Much better than I expected - it gives me a chance," said Olazabal, whose last US Open was 2007.
The only player in with a better round than Montgomerie on the Old Course was Swede Alexander Noren, who defends his Wales Open title at Celtic Manor later this week.