BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Colin Montgomerie said he looked forward to the fun when he joined the Champions Tour.
He was clearly enjoying himself Saturday in the Senior PGA Championship when he made a winding, 30-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 3-under 68 and a one-stroke lead.
"Bloody great," he said about the birdie putt that took the sting out of a bogey at the 17th hole.
"It was going a bit quick. Thank God the hole got in the way. It was downhill, down grain, but it held its line and went in. It was a joyous occasion in the Montgomerie camp."
Trying to win his first senior major after failing to capture one of golf's four biggest events on the regular tours, the 51-year-old Scot took a 7-under 206 total into the final round at Harbor Shores.
Bernhard Langer, the 56-year-old German star who has won twice this season on the Champions Tour, was a stroke back after a 69 that included a double bogey from a buried lie in a huge sand bunker on the seventh. He will play alongside Montgomerie for the fourth consecutive round Sunday.
Marco Dawson, Bart Bryant and Kiyoshi Murota were tied for third at 5 under. Dawson had a 64, the best round of the tournament. Bryant and Murota shot 70.
Montgomerie, who said he has nothing to prove to anybody or himself in golf, is trying to win an official event for the first time on U.S. soil. He does have victories in the country in the 1998 Andersen Consulting World Championship and 2000 Skins Game.
"So I came here to enjoy one's self," he said. "I would like to win wherever that might be. It would be great to try and win in America. I always felt to win in America is a very difficult thing to do, on an away patch, on golf courses that are usually suited to the American style of play."
Langer, a two-time Masters champion, has 20 victories on the 50-and-over — including majors at the 2010 U.S. Senior Open and Senior British Open. He's looking forward to playing with Montgomerie again, and has a plan.