Montgomerie offers frosty retort to Lyle
Thursday 16 July 2009
On the day the European Tour stopped short of publicly reprimanding Sandy Lyle for accusing their Ryder Cup captain of cheating, one of the leading names in the game warned Colin Montgomerie of the "stigma" that shall always follow him.
"In golf, if you get a reputation for being a bit shady, fellow pros talk," said the veteran BBC commentator Peter Alliss. "The stigma stays with you... In Jakarta [at the 2005 Indonesia Open] it would appear the ball didn't go back in the place that he [Montgomerie] left it. It was fairly obvious. But he would know. Montgomerie would know and he has to live with that... If one of the press boys are in the mood, the incident will be brought up."
Alliss's remarks came in the wake of the interview in Tuesday's Independent in which Lyle compared the Montgomerie situation with the criticism he had received for walking off after nine holes of last year's Open. Lyle came across as bitter about the insinuation that the Birkdale withdrawal affected his chances of becoming captain for next year's match in Newport. Later on Tuesday, the 51-year-old came into the media centre apparently with the intent of apologising to his fellow Scot. But after reading out a contrite statement, Lyle then substantiated the claims he had made in this newspaper.
"The problem was the drop [in Jakarta, after a weather delay] wasn't close to where it should have been," he said. "And, of course, the TV doesn't lie."
Yesterday, Montgomerie accused Lyle of taking his frustrations out on him. "I've had time to digest it and I've decided to say nothing," said the 46-year-old, when arriving at the course. "I've come here to play golf and been hit with this. Just because he's disappointed not to be made captain, please don't take it out on me."
Montgomerie said he was aware that the Tour was issuing a statement, although whether he was satisfied with its content is not known. While George O'Grady, the European Tour's chief executive, said he "deeply regrets" Lyle's comments, there was no mention of the two-time major winner being fined or even spoken to.
The Tour is renowned for not publicising its sanctions, although the fact it was not even prepared to announce extending a warning as to Lyle's future conduct may just be a sign of their trepidation in dealing with such a sensitive issue. Lyle has revealed he did not expect any punishment or censure. "Whatever I've said it's not been pre-fabricated [sic]," he said. "If the Tour take any action I'd be surprised."
The pair were both on the range yesterday but have yet to talk. Monty's mood suggested they will not be doing so in the foreseeable future. Their spat has cast controversy over the build-up to today's first round, as Peter Dawson all but acknowledged yesterday. "It's a great shame when professional players like that get into those arguments," said the chief executive of the Royal and Ancient, the Open's governing body. "I very much hope it will be sorted out as soon as possible."
Latest in Sport
WrestleMania 31: What time does it start? Full match card and preview ahead of WWE event
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
Gareth Bale to Chelsea: Real Madrid to be 'tempted by £75m offer' this summer
Manchester United transfer news: Chris Smalling and Phil Jones face uncertain future with contract renewal talks on hold
Malaysia Grand Prix 2015 LIVE: Sebastian Vettel wins in just his second race with Ferrari with Lewis Hamilton second and Nico Rosberg third
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 3 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew