Colin Montgomerie is one of those golfers that you love to pick on because he leaves himself wide open so much of the time. Today is no exception. He’s back in fine form with his lastest trantrum over what he considers unfair practices by the tournament poobahs at the Masters.
Monty’s quest for the coveted green jacket was dashed again this week when he was not invited to play at Augusta. That didn’t suprise him, given his ranking of 75th in the world. He expected 3 of the 24 players below him to be picked, and if that happened, he’d be jealous inside, but he’d take it like a man.
But when 3 international players (China’s Liang Wen-chong, Thailand’s Prayad Marksaeng and Indian Jeev Milkha Singh (ranked 111th, 93rd and 80th in the world respectively)) were invited to play because of TV rights, he could not help himself. The “Big Monty Muzzle” came off big time!
It’s not like this hasn’t happened before to the great Scot. In 2005, 67th ranked Shingo Katayama from Japan was chosen over the 51st placed Monty – again for the Japanese TV rights. You’d think Colin would be used to this by now.
According to Augusta National chairman Billy Payne, “These three individuals are successful, accomplished and talented golfers deserving of a Masters invitation. They are outstanding representatives of their respective countries. This is another component in our objective of growing the game of golf worldwide utilising the Masters brand. We think the interest in golf in each country will heighten when these players compete in the Masters.”
I watch a lot of European Tour golf and have seen all of these players. I’m quite happy that they’ll be hitting US soil to show their off game – these guys are good!
But Monty does not share my enthusiasm…
“There has been no call from Augusta but I wasn’t expecting one. There are
enough Brits in the field, so there won’t be a call. But if I were the only
person in the country, a la China, I might get in. It’s a strange way to make up
a field for a major championship – TV rights.
Let me tell you, I am not the only one who feels this way. In or not, I would be saying the same thing. It is the only one of the four majors you can get invited to. You don’t get an invite to the Open or the US Open or the US PGA. You have to qualify. But the Masters has its own rules. It would be easier to swallow if no-one was invited and the entry list was based on sporting and not commercial criteria.”
Don’t get me wrong…I really do like Monty and think he is a very entertaining player to watch. I will miss him this year. But let’s be serious…he’s not a real contender and it is very unlikely that he ever will be. He’s had his chances over the years – many of them. But he has not made the cut since he finished T14 back in 2002.
Things were looking up for a while for the Scot when he won twice at the Accenture Match Play Championship earlier this year. He rose to 54th after that event and even Ryder Captain Nick Faldo who has had some run ins with Monty in the past was talking quite positively about him on the air.
Monty, take a tip from Lee Westwood who looking very buff these days. and Vijay, who understands that fitness is what’s keeping him in shape on and off the course.
Monty, go get married, get fit, and then get back in the game! I’d hate to miss you at the Ryder Cup.
Monty has still to master art of diplomacy
DOUGLAS LOWE firstname.lastname@example.org
02 Apr 2008
WITH a record of missed cuts in his last four Masters and a best finish of tied eighth in a total of 15 starts, you might imagine that Colin Montgomerie would react to failing to make the field for next week’s showdown at Augusta National with a shrug… read more…