I wasn’t Monty’s double

One of the more entertaining events of last week’s Open championship was the regular Sandy lyle interview where (a) he suggested chubby funster Colin Montgomerie (a man who swears at young children watching golf with their parents according to one friend who followed him for a hole – and then left with said small child after some invective from golf’s Mr Charm (could this be why the Americans don’t like him?)) had cheated at a tournament in 2005; (b) apologised for upsetting Monty’s preparation (but not for his comments); (c) apologised again for Monty’s preparations but suggested he’d made a meal of it, and every knows Monty’s a bit of a drama queen.

With each entertaining interview from Lyle (and the criticism of Lyle from the golfing establishment) my sympathy went out to him. Gary Evans – who I seem to recall used to do work for Five Live (not there now though) – had made a similar point but golf had closed ranks. The players and commentators made great issue of the honour of the golfer (moreso than snooker?). People didn’t try to get an advantage. Nobody cheated. And suggestions that you did were viewed as highly defamatory.  

So why did Lyle and Evans make the point?  Both Lyle and Evans were professionals that had no vested interest in avoiding criticising Monty, because both were unlikely to participate in the Ryder Cup, where Monty has become captain. Both had a freedom to speak as they found.

I am no golfer, but have a general sporting interest and my thoughts were well articulated in an excellent Scotland on Sunday article yesterday by Tom English.

So what is all the fuss about? Well, thanks to the wonder of modern technology you can view the incident. Monty needed to score highly in the tournament to win a place in the US Open. As you will see he initially had a very tricky lie and his stance required him to stand in a bunker, but with the onset of thunder marched off the course without  marking his ball. So where does he replace the ball when he returns the following day.

Was Sandy Lyle wrong?



About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
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One Response to I wasn’t Monty’s double

  1. I dont have sympathy for Sandy, and my reasons are twofold:
    1) Fair enough, he was being honest by saying he just couldn’t get his game together at Birkdale last year and that’s why he walked off. I applaud his honesty. What I don’t applaud is him taking the place at all, and thus taking a position at Golf’s most prestigious tournament which would have otherwise gone to an amateur or lower ranked qualifier (potentially a massive opportunity for said lower-ranked golfer). Sandy should have pulled out beforehand and not 10 holes into his first round. I can’t think of any sport where it is acceptable to walk out halfway through the game, and this should be no exception.
    2) The series of Monty interviews he gave were indeed honest. And the parts of them where he discussed the real issue were fine. Or they would have been if he’d left it at that. But the saga lasted for a series of about 3/4 different interviews, where he increasingly reminded me of someone like David Brent – offering some ill thought out comments. Instead of sticking to the issue he kept making silly off-the-cuff comments like “Monty is a bit of a drama Queen” before realising what he said. Then he didn’t endear himself by whining about not getting the Ryder Cup captaincy for next year; suggesting that he should have gotten it. Well why? We’re talking about a former major winner yes, but one who has won excrutiatingly little since the early 90’s – a gap of nearly 20 years. And then there’s the abovementioned “walk off” at Birkdale last year. What happens if the going gets tough at Celtic Manor next year? If Europe are under the cosh? As Captain would he simply just walk off because he wasn’t feeling his game? I know that I wouldn’t now trust him to be captain, and wouldn’t want him there.
    The article by Tom English is, as usual, excellent. But it forgets that Sandy made more of the situation than he should have and, instead of sticking to the real issue in his interviews, he had moans and whines about things he had no right to.

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