Montgomerie caps wretched week by heading for early exit

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The Independent Online

Just as Colin Montgomerie dared to hope that "Jakartagate" had blessedly vanished from his rear-view mirror so, alas, did the Celtic Manor's gate as the Scot headed home yesterday after missing his first cut of the season.

Just as Colin Montgomerie dared to hope that "Jakartagate" had blessedly vanished from his rear-view mirror so, alas, did the Celtic Manor's gate as the Scot headed home yesterday after missing his first cut of the season.

Tears all around then, not least from the press for whom Monty and his travails have been manna from headline heaven, but more so perhaps from the poor Wales Open organisers who once again saw a sorry return on their investment.

Actually, "poor" is hardly the appropriate adjective here, as anyone who can afford to pay £1m in "appearance money" (or for "marketing services", or whatever the European Tour insist it is called) for one golfer's presence cannot be short of the odd shekel.

Sir Terry Matthews is anything but, of course, although even Wales's first billionaire must have shaken his head when he worked out that he has been paying a flat rate of £75,000-a-round to Montgomerie in the last three years he has "played" in this burgeoning tournament.

Since 2003, when the five-year, £200,000-a-year deal was struck, the 41-year-old has missed the cut twice and finished out of the top 10 the other time. "Disappearance money," Sir Terry might soon be calling it.

Of course, there was not anything so crass from the bigwigs yesterday, although John Phelps, the tournament director did concede, "it's a disappointment that Colin has missed the cut".

That seemed certain as soon as Montgomerie took a double-bogey six on the fourth hole on his second round yesterday. By the time he repeated this insult of a figure on the 18th for a 75 that saw him into a tie for 142nd and over the cut mark by seven embarrassing shots, he was ready for the M4. He did have time to repeat "what controversy?" four times to the questioner who suggested that the "wrong drop" controversy in Indonesia might have taken its toll. "That is at an end," Monty growled. "Understand?"

Alessandro Tadini certainly would not have. The Italian can barely speak English - although this Milan fan did show a command of a couple of words as blue as his national team's shirt when asked about last week's game with Liverpool - and at 11-under after a 62, two ahead of Stoke's David Lynn, the excitement of this unheralded 31-year-old seemed beyond translation. Alessandro really was in wonderland.

Wales Open (Celtic Manor, Newport) Leading early second-round scores (GB or Irl unless stated): 127 A Tadini (It) 65 62. 129 D Lynn 63 66. 130 M A Jimenez (Sp) 63 67. 132 I Woosnam 64 68, F Delamontagne (Fr) 66 66, B Teilleria (Fr) 63 69. 133 J M Lara (Sp) 68 65, K Ferrie 65 68, Raphael Jacquelin (Fr) 67 66, S Little 64 69. 134 J Haeggman (Swe) 68 66, S Gallacher 66 68, O Wilson 67 67, M Erlandsson (Swe) 69 65. 135 J Donaldson 67 68, J-F Lima (Por) 65 70, L Westerberg (Swe) 66 69, D Park 68 67, J Sandelin (Swe) 68 67, E Canonica (It) 67 68, P Senior (Aus) 63 72, M A Martin (Sp) 69 66, P Lawrie 67 68. 136 R Bland 66 70, A Hansen (Den) 67 69, B Kennedy (Aus) 69 67, H Stenson (Swe) 67 69. 137 F A Hed (Swe) 67 70, D Drysdale 69 68, S Hansen (Den) 67 70, S Wakefield 69 68, N Dougherty 65 72, P Hedblom (Swe) 66 71, I Garrido (Spa) 66 71, N Cheetham 65 72, M Campbell (NZ) 65 72, R Coles 68 69, B Dredge 69 68. 138 A Wall 70 68, P Broadhurst 70 68.

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