Fresh from his solid debut as a member of the 50-and-over set, Colin Montgomerie took on a last chance to get into this year’s Open Championship.
He’s signed on for Tuesday’s Final Local Qualifying at Gullane No. 1. And the hope, for Monty’s sake, was that he brought with him the game that produced good things in the Constellation Senior Players Championship (69-70-68-65, T-9).
He did just that during his first 18 Tuesday, firing a 2-under 69 that had him in the mix. His run ended, however, with a 76 in the second 18 that left him on the outside looking in.
Many a follower of the sport had their fingers crossed that Montgomerie would earn his way into this year’s Open Championship. What fun he provided the last time it was held at Muirfield, 2002. At the time, he was at the height of his talents – and every summer Montgomerie was a mess when it came to dealing with the pressure of winning the one championship that mattered most to him.
So when Montgomerie blistered Muirfield in a course-record 64 strokes in Round 2, he told reporters: “I wanted to prove it to myself that I can still do this.”
The next day, an epic storm swept in and the only one who was devoured worse than Tiger Woods (81) was Montgomerie, who shot 84. The British media savaged Montgomerie, however, for not talking, even while Woods did.
Montgomerie took exception to the criticism.
“I didn’t storm off,” he said. “I was really hurt.”