Monty in Ryder Cup mode at rain-hit Scottish Open
Colin Montgomerie will adopt a gung-ho Ryder Cup approach at the
truncated Scottish Open after his hopes of qualifying for a 22nd
straight British Open took a nosedive.
The former Ryder Cup captain needs a top-five finish at Castle
Stuart to stand a chance of claiming the final qualifying spot for
non-exempt players for the year’s third major, which starts at
Royal St. George’s on Thursday.
However, with the Scottish Open now reduced to three rounds
because of torrential rain and thunderstorms in the Highlands which
wiped out play on Saturday, Montgomerie finds himself five shots
off the pace with a maximum 27 holes remaining.
”I’m running out of time, especially with it being a
three-round event now,” he said. ”I’ve got to think Ryder Cup
play now. I’ve got to think about not leaving a putt short, I’ve
got to think about putting for a half over the next 27 holes. They
have to go.
”My chances are reduced. I needed 72 holes.”
More than six centimeters of rain fell in the space of five
hours early on Saturday, causing landslides on some parts of the
links course. Further storms broke throughout the morning and
afternoon, preventing any play on the third day.
It’s the first time the Scottish Open has been shortened to 54
holes – and it couldn’t have come at a worse time for
”Those leaders in the clubhouse (Graeme McDowell, Scott
Jamieson and Peter Whiteford) now are laughing, they’re having a
big laugh at us. I would be,” he said. ”The golf course will be
very different to when we started. It’ll be longer, placing of the
ball will be an issue.
”I’ve been up in this area for a long time now and we have
courtesy-car drivers who are 65 years of age and haven’t seen the
likes of this before. None of us have. We are very unfortunate to
have this, especially with 11 p.m. daylight. This is extreme to say
the least. It’s incredible. It’s a freak condition.”
While Montgomerie resorted to ”messing around at my hotel”
during the prolonged rain breaks, other golfers went further
”I hear Ernie Els is over at (nearby) Skibo Castle this
afternoon on the archery, learning how to arch,” Montgomerie said
of the South African, a double Scottish Open winner and three-time
major champion. ”Hope he doesn’t hurt himself while he’s