Colin Montgomerie birdied his final two holes to move with three strokes of first round leader David Frost at the MCB Tour Championship.
First round leaders
-7 David Frost (RSA)
-5 Paul Eales (Eng)
-4 Colin Montgomerie (Sco)
-4 Chris Williams (RSA)
-4 Luis Carbonetti (Arg)
-3 Paul Wesselingh (Eng)
-2 Peter Fowler (Aus)
-1 Barry Lane (Eng)
+3 Philip Golding (Eng)
Montgomerie`s late gains helped him to an opening-round 68 in Mauritius, where Frost posted three birdies and an eagle over his final four holes to surge two strokes clear of Paul Eales at the top of the leaderboard.
Frost, who won the season-finale in both 2010 and 2012, posted a first gain of the day at the par-four sixth and was unable to convert a number of birdie chances around the turn before his game came together over the closing stretch.
A close-range birdie at the 13th was followed by three in-a-row from the 15th to move above early pacesetter Eales, before a superb approach in to the par-five last left a 10ft eagle putt to close a seven-under 65.
"I always feel very good whenever I arrive," Frost said. "When I saw the leaderboard just after the turn, I thought if I could finish well there was no reason why I couldn`t get to within a shot, but to go into the second round with a two-shot lead was way beyond my expectations.
"On the last, I hit a great approach but actually got a little bit lucky with the putt, because it bounced up off the grain as soon as I hit it. Luckily it just made it to the hole, so I might`ve got away with one there."
Eales, searching for a first Senior Tour win, set the clubhouse lead as one of the early starters with a bogey-free 67, while Montgomerie moved in to contention with four birdies over his final six holes.
With the Order of Merit title already secure, Montgomerie started slowly and was level par following a dropped shot at the 12th, but was left encouraged by his strong finish.
"I was overheating a little to be honest so it was pleasing to hole a few putts coming home," Montgomerie said. "I hung in there and played some very nice stuff towards the end.
"I`m fairly happy with the start, but there`s definitely a little bit of room for improvement over the next two days."
Argentine Luis Carbonetti and South African Chris Williams are alongside Montgomerie on four under, with defending champion Paul Wesselingh part of the group a further stroke back.
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