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Second chance is fine by Monty.

Colin Montgomerie hopes he is on his way back to the top - and is determined to appreciate it much more the second time around.

Montgomerie was scheduled to face Stewart Cink in the second round of the Accenture Matchplay Championship today after his victory over Nick Price yesterday.

The Scot came back from two down with three to play to beat Price at the second extra hole at La Costa, boosting his chances of climbing back into the top 50 in the world rankings.

Montgomerie was not the only player who needed extra holes to book his place in the last 32.

Former champion Darren Clarke produced a spectacular finish before surviving the second longest match in the event's short history.

Clarke birdied the 16th and then chipped in for an eagle three on the 18th to take his first round tie with Eduardo Romero into extra holes.

And the Ulsterman eventually booked his place in the second round on the 25th hole when the veteran Argentine Romero found trouble off the tee and was unable to match his par four. Clarke now faces Germany's Alex Cejka in round two.

England's Paul Casey was not so lucky, however, missing from inside three feet to lose out on the 21st hole to USPGA champion Shaun Micheel, who had earlier holed from 30ft on the 17th to force sudden death.

Ireland's Padraig Harrington moved safely through to the last 32 - to face Bob Estes - for only the second time in five attempts after a 2&1 victory over Toshi Izawa, but Lee Westwood went down to a revitalised Phil Mickelson.

There were mixed results for close friends Ian Poulter and Justin Rose, Poulter making a winning debut with a one hole victory over Chris Riley but Rose crashing out 5&4 at the hands of Australian Stuart Appleby. Poulter will take on Duffy Waldorf today.

Londoner Brian Davis lost 3&2 to Robert Allenby on his debut and Wales' Phil Price was hammered 6&4 by Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson, who will face Thomas Bjorn in the second round after the Open runner-up saw off Scott Hoch 4&3.

Defending champion and top seed Tiger Woods scraped through to the second round with a last hole victory over compatriot John Rollins.

Two down with six to play, Woods was gifted the 13th and 17th when Rollins bogeyed, and then birdied the last when he had two putts to win as Rollins fluffed a bunker shot to record another bogey.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 26, 2004
Words:416
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