Saturday, 9 August 2008

Young Reporter takes life in his own hands - Laughs at Monty after his 84, he may never laugh again...

One of the main stories of the USPGA, apart from near universal condemnation of the playing conditions - the toughest many of the competitors have had to endure at a major- is the demise of Colin Montgomerie. His hopes of a Ryder Cup berth at Valhalla are now almost non-existent as he recorded his joint worst round at a major, an 84. I guess it should come as no surprise after some shocking recent results but did anyone really expect so little challenge from a man who swaggered his way round Oakland Hills four years ago, revelling in his role as the talisman of Europes teams? The level of his performance is indicated by the fact that he bettered the score of only five players in the field, the five USPGA club professionals and equalled the score of Hunter Mahan, who was never going to figure in the recent blaze of his slave faux pas.

You would be angry with yourself if you were him, and no man gets angrier than Monty does, often thought to be the flaw in his personality which has cost him so many opportunities down the years. So one would be forgiven for asking, what went through the head of the young man who decided to laugh at one of Colin's post round comments? Surely the media are warned against riling the man in these situations. At St. Andrews a few years back, I myself witnessed Monty's ire at a Van driver who had the cheek to try and move his vehicle while he was preparing to take his shot. The stare he gave that man surely caused some physical damage, the force of it was too much for me to look directly but I swear I felt the heat of it on the side of my face from thirty yards or more. I'm sure the poor fella is haunted at night by the image of those burning Scottish eyes and I'm sure he's not the only one. You don't mess with the Montster...

It was remarkable that he was prepared to answer questions as the meaning of his score was surely not lost on him, but give him his dues he did it like the pro he is. Jim Furyk

"It was very difficult out there and I made it more so, I got off to a bad start and kept it going. The only consolation is that the putt I holed on the last green was the same one I made in 2004 to clinch the Ryder Cup. This was the toughest set-up I have ever seen. It really was most difficult, just very, very severe. I'll just have to go away and regroup and come back again."

Jim Furyk praised Monty's professionalism in his interviews

"Colin really struggled on the greens, and it's tough when you get to the point where you know you can't make the cut. He tried his best, though. He hung in there. And he was actually very pleasant to play with today. He handled it like a professional."

But going back to Colin he reacted in typical fashion, as only he could, as a reporter gave a solitary chuckle at one of his responses, chillingly stating

"Make that your last laugh..."

Terrifying... Kudos to Monty though, he's broken out the non-specific veiled threat, not delving into unnecessary statements on the consequences of another giggle, just allowing his imagination work on what might occur. That's top notch threatening.

Now I'm fairly sure it wasn't the same guy, as he had probably lost the ability to speak at this stage, but one brave reporter, who must be taking up Golf reporting after years as a hardened war correspondent, had the brass tacks to bring up the fact he probably wouldn't be on the ryder cup team now.

"I'm not on the team, am I?" Monty asked, while walking away. "Sorry, I didn't think you looked like Nick Faldo."

Magnificent. Not only has he reminded the fellow it's not his opinion that counts for the wild card picks but he's also drawn attention to the fact that he is nowhere near as attractive as Harrison Ford look-a-like Faldo, the most dashing man in Golf. Monty 2 - World Media 0, on Colin's scorecard at least.

I shouldn't laugh. I do feel sorry for poor old Colin, he does get poked and prodded in times such as these, like a snake in the hands of Steve Irwin, simply because he guarantees solid gold quotes every time. It's a shame, as he only rises to it because he's his own harshest critic. The man royally mucks up his best chance of getting into the Ryder cup for the eighth straight time, shouldn't he get a bit of respect when he is man enough to go and speak to the press? Couldn't they have gone after Hunter instead?

Three tournaments are left for him to attempt one of the greatest salvage missions in Ryder qualification history. That reporter may not have looked like Nick Faldo but you can bet he's thinking exactly the same thing...

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