Montgomerie Headed Home

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SAMMAMISH, Wash. -- Colin Montgomerie withdrew midway through his second round at the World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational due to recurring back problems.
 
The 39-year-old Scot pulled out after shooting 39 on the front nine Friday. He was 4-over-par for the tournament at the time. There is no cut with the 78-man field.
 
I am very disappointed. Its a real pity because I was looking forward to coming here and competing, he said. My back has been causing problems all week and if you cant compete with others who are physically fit then there is no point in carrying on. I am now in the process of trying to get a flight back home today and I will take stock of the situation after that.
 
Montgomerie was told prior to the British Open that he would not need surgery on his back. He was diagnosed earlier in the year as having four prolapsed discs leaking fluid.
 
This is the second time he has withdrawn from an event due to back problems. He pulled out of the second round of the Johnnie Walker Classic in January.
 

Norman Empathetic
 
Montgomerie was the subject of a Friday article in a local Seattle paper for what was perceived as boorish behavior towards the crowd Thursday at the Sahalee Country Club; however, he was also the target of unsolicited barbs.
 
Greg Norman, for one, is well aware of what Montgomerie is going through. A two-time major winner and eight-time major runner-up, the 47-year-old Australian has had his fair share of hecklers.
 
I feel sorry for him because I dont think he deserves it, said Norman, who is 1-over-par through two rounds of the NEC.
 
Nobody deserves it in sport, in general, to get the abuse that you get. I got it out of the parking lot (Wednesday) night; some guy comes out making a smart-ass comment, and theres just not reason for that.
 
Whatever comment they want to make, they can keep it to themselves, because if we turn around and make a comment back to them, then theres something wrong with us.
 
Norman went on to say that its only a minority of the crowd ' and not at one certain venue or event ' that he believes to be out of line.
 
You take 30,000 people and theres probably 30 of them who want to fire up Monty or whoever. I remember Shinnecock (the U.S. Open) with me back in 86, it was the same deal ' it was a handful of guys and theyre the ones that like to hear their voice and theyre the ones that like to share their opinions and, unfortunately, theyre the ones that give Americans a bad name.
 
Its sad. We dont really experience it anywhere else in the world outside of some places in America, and thats not really the way America is either. Youve got a few people giving America a bad image.
 

Beem Recharged
 
Rich Beem bounced back from an opening 74 with a second-round 67 to get to 1-under for the tournament. The reason for his turnaround - sleep.
 
'I got to bed about 10:00 last night and slept perfectly till right about 6:45 (AM),' he said. 'I finally felt better this morning.'
 
Beem estimated he had gotten less than 15 hours sleep since winning the PGA Championship.
 
Full coverage of the WGC-NEC Invitational