TROON, Scotland -- Sure, we've only just begun the 145th Open Championship, but Colin Montgomerie's fantastic front nine was about as storybook of a start as possible.
There's the whole hometown-boy-making-good angle (his father was Royal Troon's longtime secretary). Then there's the fact Montgomerie is nowhere near being a boy at 53, which only added to his long odds entering the tournament. And finally, add an element of overcoming adversity.
Montgomerie had the honor of hitting Thursday morning's opening tee shot at 6:35 local time (he described it as teeing off in the middle of the night), but despite a decent iron, he managed to make a deflating double bogey on the easy par 4. After settling down with a par on No. 2, though, Monty got rolling.
He birdied Nos. 3 and 4 and then added birdies at 7, 8 and 9 to make the turn at 33 and grab the lead at Royal Troon. Monty had the local fans in a frenzy and members of the media wondering if we might have a Big 5 on our hands. OK, so that's juuust a bit hyperbolic, especially after Monty's bogey on No. 11.
Still, there's no denying Monty's fast start had everyone talking on Thursday morning. It remains to be seen if he'll still be a hot topic of conversation by the afternoon.