I missed the opportunity over the weekend to have a proper go at Sandy Lyle for his latest bout of media idiocy. This past few weeks he has single-handedly destroyed the slim whisker of a chance that he had of getting the Ryder captaincy. In fact he went at that whisker of a chance with a blowtorch and pair of pliers and has left it in a decidedly pitiable and mangled state.
It's the worst kept secret in golf that Sandy has been hankering after the captaincy for knocking on the door of fifteen years or more. In that time he's watched as the other members of Europe's Big Five, Ballesteros, Langer, Woosnam, even the hugely unpopular Faldo got the nod ahead of him. He might have understood why the hugely charismatic Sam Torrance was handed the Reins. But to have a man without a major to his name, who could conceivably win an award for "least likely to inspire men to greater things ", voted for by his own family, Mark "Jesse" James, that had to hurt.
And clearly it did, every year, in forthright interviews he's expressed his confusion as to why he had been overlooked. But the recent appointment of his unofficial Cheerleader Colin Montgomerie was clearly the straw that broke the camels back. The committee took somewhat of a knee jerk reaction to the perceived disconnect between Faldo and his young charges - blaming it on the age gap rather than the real character flaws in Faldo which seemed so plain to most, particularly those who read between the lines of Lee Westwoods comments after the event. Suddenly Lyle was dismissed as too old and his personal champion Montgomerie swiftly installed in his stead. His pullout of last years Open after 11 holes hurt his cause also.
Lyle felt let down by this, and took it as a personal sleight from Colin. The fact that Monty had sung Sandys praises from the rooftops for so long and pushed him so heavily for the latest post made it all the worse. In Sandys eyes, and as he has said, he could have said no.
And in typical Colin style, he's done the wrong thing. Instead of coming out straight away and offering Sandy a VC role and recommending him for Gleneagles, defusing the situation, he stayed silent. Not just in the media but in real life too. They have hardly spoken since and in this state of Limbo Lyle has loosened his tongue.
He couldn't resist when faced with more questions on his early bath at the Open having a dig at Monty. And what a dig. He tried to conduct of a man with sore hands in terrible weather already massively over par withdrawing before he sustained injury to the actions of a man in need of a win taking one of the dodgiest of drops and swiftly moving on hoping no ones noticed.
He has a point, it was a form of cheating and he must have known, but surely Lyle must have realised how badly dredging up the past would reflect on him. He has publicly attacked the next Ryder Cup captain, how can that possibly enhance your standing as Captaincy material.
But in the subsequent interviews he has given he has far away Sandy is from thinking that. Persistently he has dug himself a deeper and deeper hole. Each apology has been coupled with a qualification that he still believes Colin cheated, one even stating Monty was a bit "strange".
Then he come out and profusely apologised after his first round on Thursday before he was asked straight out, as a man experienced in dealing with the media, should he not have known better than to say what he did. His response indicated that Lyle's brain could not compute a questioning of his media savvy. Instead he seemed to interpret it as a question on how naive Col was being about all this...
"I think Colin is Colin. We do sometimes call him a bit of a drama queen. He is milking it a little bit. He has got to stop hiding behind his manager and come out and have a talk. I want to bring an end to it. We are good friends and we respect each other's games.,"
It all just displayed that if he ever was a safe pair of hands to take on the Ryder mantle, he's not anymore. With the intense media scrutiny he'd be exposed to he can no longer be trusted not to run his mouth off. I'm not saying we don't want someone who can speak his mind, just someone who still realises when they're causing offence, and when they're compounding that offence and certainly someone who knows when it's best to just say nothing.
Who do we have this time? Oh dear, it's Monty...