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It Must Be Montgomery

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

Colin Montgomery must be the best active golfer who has yet to break through with a major. But you wouldn’t think so if you read Gary Von Sickle’s article at

Sickle is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated so you’d think he’d know better. Although he does admit that the top 10, are “ranked on the basis of ability, recent form and my own totally biased opinion.”
Recent form may well suggest his choice of Kenny Perry at number 1 makes sense. But he headlines his article, “Best tour players without a major win.”

So let’s get serious since it’s around this time of the year with the approach of the final major that writers seemed to like to bring up the old hoary question.

It must be the case since the guys at  are also at it. Eight of them and only one of them makes sense-Craig Dolch who selects Colin Montgomerie

Craig writes, “No active player without a major title has had more playoff losses -- two, which is matched by Chris DiMarco -- and runner-up finishes (five) in the majors the last two decades than Monty, who gets another chance at this week's PGA Championship at Hazeltine. And I believe what Monty did in the 18th fairway at the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot wasn't far behind Jean Van de Velde's collapse at the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie.”

Sickle, in his article, appears to suggest what Frank often says at the club, “He’s past his used by date.” When referring to people like me who’ve seen better, younger days.
However after Tom Terrific’s performance at Turnberry it’s still possible, since Monty’s only 46 and could still surprise us.

The PGA championship has a history of surprise winners as Mark Lamport-Stokes reminds us, “Of all the majors in recent times, the PGA attracts the strongest field and yet has been the most likely to throw up a surprise winner…Hazeltine last staged the PGA Championship in 2002 when American Rich Beem held off a charging Woods by one shot to win his only major title.”

And then the following year along came Shaun Micheel who won at Oak Hill and was ranked Number 169 prior to the tournament.
The BBC/Sports headline reads, “Woods aims to win ‘hardest’ major” And why is it the hardest? Because according to the BBC and the Woods himself, “…with almost all of the world's top 100 set to feature at Hazeltine, the world number one said: "This is the deepest field we get. "If you win this championship you have beaten the best field in all of golf."

The PGA has graciously given Monty a place at Hazeltine and the opportunity to prove to the naysayers that he’s not past his used by date.
Won’t back his chances with bawbees because it’s a wee bit long but if he gets his short game going there’s always the chance.
And this golf advice from Monty’s web site

“Over the years, I have learned that to become a successful golfer, it is not enough just to hit the ball well. You have learn how scramble, to get up and down when you miss a green and, above all else, learn to hit the right shot at the right time. Put in simple terms, you have to learn how to manage your game, something I hope my latest book 'The thinking man's guide to golf' will help you to achieve.”

Monty tells the story of how he was complementing a coach on the ball-striking of his fine young Swedish golf student. And the coach replied, “He does hit the ball well…but I’m afraid he’s still not much of a golfer.”
I hope that reply makes sense to you because if not you’ve still got a lot to learn about this game for a lifetime.



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