DOHA, Qatar, March 14 (UPI) -- Colin Montgomerie bounced back in style after missing the cut last week to surge into contention in the first round of the Qatar Masters when play was suspended by fog Thursday.
It looked as though extra practice had paid instant dividends as the seven-time European No. 1 carded an opening round 4-under-par 68 at Doha Golf Club.
Starting on the 10th hole, Montgomerie opened with three pars before picking up birdies at the 13th and 15th to reach the turn at 34. He carded two more birdies on his back nine.
Montgomerie was outscored by playing partner Adam Scott, who carded birdies at three of the last four holes to finish with a 67, but was still within two shots of the early pace set by Swedish duo Klas Eriksson and Joakim Haeggman.
Last week, Montgomerie failed to make the third round at the Dubai Desert Classic for the first time in more than a decade, slumping to a second-round 79 at Emirates Golf Club.
A triple-bogey seven on his final hole sent the 38-year-old to an early exit from the event for the first time since 1990,and he spent all weekend practicing in Dubai to try to avoid a similar fate in Qatar.
The start of play had been delayed by almost two hours due to fog. Thirty-nine players will complete the first round Friday.