No 10 Montys World


2005 Stories of the Year - #10Editor's note: is counting down the top 10 stories from the 2005 golf season. This is Story No. 10.
Colin Montgomerie always uses a white golf tee.
Makes sense, seeing as the 42-year-old needs no help in providing plenty of color to the world of golf.
Love him or hate him, you cant help but take notice when you hear or see Montys name mentioned.
Colin Montgomerie
Colin Montgomerie's victory at the dunhill links championship marked his 13th straight year with a win.
And Monty is always making news - good, bad or otherwise.
You want high quality golf and victories? You got it. Montgomerie is as dependable as Santa Claus when it comes to finding the winners circle.
Dating all the way back to 1993, Monty has gone 13 straight seasons in which he has recorded a win, including his victory at this past years dunhill links championships. Make that 14 seasons in a row when you add his recent triumph at the Hong Kong Open, which is credited toward the 2006 European Tour season.
Perhaps more impressive was his return to the top of the European Tours Order of Merit.
Once a permanent fixture atop the European money list ' winning the title an unprecedented seven consecutive times beginning in 1993 ' Montgomerie reclaimed the top spot on the strength of 13 top-10 finishes in 2005. Included in that stat was his emotional runner-up finish to Tiger Woods at the British Open.
Playing in front of a partisan home crowd, Monty made the turn on the final day at St. Andrews just one stroke behind Tiger Woods. Alas, Tiger being Tiger, Monty was unable to catch the world No. 1, but was nevertheless impressed with his performance and his return to form.
'Today the crowds were phenomenal the whole way around. Even when they realized I wasn't going to win, they realized my job in hand was to try to finish second. And they helped me to that cause,' said Montgomerie following his round. 'Looking back, I've thoroughly enjoyed this week and competing again at this level. And it's nice that it's having a little bit of resurgence now after three years really in the wilderness. So it's fantastic for me to get back to a position where I was through the '90s in Europe, at least, and there's no disgrace in finishing second to the best player in the world.'
As high as that moment may have been for Monty, what transpired at the Indonesian Open back in March was at the other end of the spectrum.
During the second round of the tournament, bad weather forced play to be suspended. Instead of marking his ball, Montgomerie chose to leave his ball in its position next to a bunker. The following day Monty returned but his ball was no longer there. Video replays show that his subsequent drop appeared to give him a much more favorable swing at the ball.
The media storm and backlash from some of his fellow competitors about the incident didnt hit until after the tournament was officially over and Montgomerie had collected $44,468 for his fourth place finish. It was at this point that Monty tried to save face with a gesture of good will.
Colin Montgomerie
Monty's return to the top-10 gives him plenty to smile about heading into the 2006 season.
'The respect of my peers and the Rules of the game are extremely important to me which is why I am grateful that this matter has been raised and I have therefore been able to look into it.
'I am obviously upset that I could have inadvertently caused my colleagues to question me and with this in mind (and with this being all that I can do in the circumstances) and having informed the European Tour's Chief Referee of my decision, I will be making a donation of all of my prize money from the Enjoy Jakarta Standard Chartered Indonesia Open towards The European Tour Tsunami Fund.'
If this incident had happened to any one of the other 100 odd players in that field, chances are that no controversy would have surfaced. But this was Monty, the man with an apparent bulls-eye on the back of his golfing shirt.
Combine the Indonesian incident with his well-publicized divorce from his wife of 13 years and the fact that his World Ranking had slipped all the way to a dismal 83rd at the start of the year, and, Monty could have folded the tent.
But by the time his rollercoaster of a year finished, Montgomerie had posted his best showing in a major in some seven years, shot his career low round of 60 - which included nine straight birdies - and found himself back in the top-10 in the world. And he won his already mentioned eighth Order of Merit title.
With Monty fully back in the fold, next year promises to be even more eventful. Most importantly, it's a Ryder Cup year, where the Scotsman is simply the man. His brilliant 19-8-5 record in the biennial matches includes an unmatched 7-0 record in the singles competition.
Ireland awaits in the fall of 2006, as does Monty. As do golf fans everywhere.
With his bad back, bad divorce and bad drop behind him, it's good to know that Monty will be continuing to tee it up.
Using his colorless white tees, of course.
Related links:
  • Colin Montgomerie's Bio

  • British Open Coverage

  • 2005 dunhill links championship

  • 2005 Hong Kong Open

  • The Year in Review