Monty fails to qualify for British Open

The British Open will be without Colin Montgomerie next week for

the first time since 1989 after the veteran Scot ran out of steam

at the Scottish Open on Sunday.

The former Europe Ryder Cup captain needed a top-five finish at

Castle Stuart to stand a chance of making next week’s tournament in

Sandwich, and he briefly held a share of the lead following a

birdie at the par-5 No. 6.

However, a disastrous double-bogey on the short 11th – which

came after he missed the green with his tee shot and then fluffed a

short chip – not only cost him a shot at victory in the Highlands

but also an opportunity to seal his Open place.

”It was going well and then I sort of ran out of puff,” he

said. ”It was always too soon, too short. So there you go. A week

off next week.”

After bogeys at Nos. 13 and 14, Montgomerie responded by making

three straight birdies but a final-round 70 wasn’t enough. He must

now wait until Lytham St. Anne’s in 2012 for another chance to

break his Open duck.

The closest the eight-time European Order of Merit champion has

come to winning his home major was in 2005, when he finished second

to Tiger Woods by five strokes at St. Andrews. He may never get as

close again, but he vowed to continue giving it a go.

”We’ll have to start again, that’s all we’ve got,” he

said.

After finishing the second round at Castle Stuart early on

Sunday on 8 under – a target he had set himself on Saturday – to

lie three shots off the pace, Montgomerie gave the home fans

renewed hope with an eagle on the par-5 No. 2 to close in on the

leaders.

His birdie at No. 6 drew him alongside five others at the top of

the leaderboard but that was as close as he came, finishing with a

10-under 206.

Montgomerie slipped to No. 420 in the rankings during his

two-year spell as Ryder Cup captain and is attempting to get back

into the top 50. He is currently No. 285.