Monty pleads for end to Jakarta furore

How many times can a man say sorry? Colin Montgomerie did so for at least the third time here on the eve of the Wales Open yesterday before making an impassioned plea for a definitive, giant black line to be drawn under the affair that has become known simply as "Jakartagate" on the European Tour.

How many times can a man say sorry? Colin Montgomerie did so for at least the third time here on the eve of the Wales Open yesterday before making an impassioned plea for a definitive, giant black line to be drawn under the affair that has become known simply as "Jakartagate" on the European Tour.

However, as the whispers continued to wend their way from the locker-room in the wake of Gary Evans all but accusing the Scot of being a cheat, this seemed more than a tad hopeful, even though the words of the chairman of the powerful tournament committee had earlier poured a huge bucket of water on the flames threatening to engulf one the game's most glittering careers.

By declaring that Evans - who yesterday pulled out of this week's tournament with a bad back - did not have to apologise for his inflammatory comments on Montgomerie's infamous "wrong drop" in Indonesia, and would not therefore be liable to the fine that the George O'Grady, the European Tour's furious chief executive, hinted would be coming the journeyman's way, Jamie Spence quite cleverly took the sting out of the situation.

"I spoke at length with Gary on Tuesday, he didn't apologise and I didn't expect him to," said Spence, so defusing any of the fall-out that a few fellow professionals of Evans had, off-the-record, promised should the 36-year-old face censure. "It's a free world. I want the members to be able to say what they want, but say it to us or George."

If Evans had indeed marched into the board-room at Wentworth last Saturday, instead of the media room, where, among other things, he declared that "there's been smoke around Monty before" and that "98 per cent" of the pros were not happy that Montgomerie had escaped sanction for replacing his ball in an obviously advantageous position after a weather suspension, then the resulting furore might have been averted.

"The timing of Gary's comments was very poor but I don't think he fully understood the issues involved," Spence said. "I think the players feel we should have taken some action but there is no action to take. Colin broke a rule and the referee at the time agreed he didn't incur a penalty. It's a misconception that he could disqualify himself after the event - he can't. Colin felt it was a nice gesture to donate his prize-money [£24,000] to charity but I don't think he was admitting any guilt. We put ourselves on a high moral ground as golfers and it's difficult to live up to."

At least Montgomerie was trying to yesterday. "I made a mistake and I acknowledge that fact," he said. But he would not go so far as to state that he would have disqualified himself and so hand back the world ranking points that ultimately allowed him to scrape into the world's top 50 in time to qualify for this month's US Open.

John Paramor, the Tour's chief referee, did reveal, however, that he had to tell Montgomerie that the result would stand whatever he did, which suggested that the 41-year-old was indeed considering such a course. "It was not an option," Montgomerie said.

Whether the Tour's rules will ever be altered to allow such a move remains a doubt, although Spence confessed that the Tour will be pressing the Royal and Ancient, the game's rule-makers, to amend their laws in one respect because of this unseemly rumpus. "The biggest mistake Colin made was not marking his ball," he said. "But I find it incredible that in a lightning delay that you don't have to mark it. Now I understand if someone hits a 300-yard drive and there is lightning around you don't want to run down there, but if you are standing next to your ball, our committee feels very strongly this should be a rule of golf."

Unsurprisingly, Montgomerie lent his support to that, before issuing his cry for peace. "Can I just ask one thing more?" he said. "Can we finally, finally draw a line under this and get on with what we all do best?"

No, he did not mean bickering, as Spence signified with one last warning. "This is the end of it for me and the committee," Spence said. "If the players feel they can do better, they can take my job."

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Game Of Thrones
Uh-oh, winter is coming. Ouch, my eyes! Ygritte’s a goner. Lysa’s a goner. Tywin’s a goner. Look, a dragon
tvSpoiler warning: The British actor says viewers have 'not seen the last' of his character
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Sport
Esteban Cambiasso makes it 3-3
premier league
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
The Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City
premier leaguePlus updates from Everton vs Palace
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleFirst memoir extracts show she 'felt pressured' into going out with the Sex Pistols manager
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late
Sport
Lewis Hamilton in action during the Singapore Grand Prix
Formula OneNico Rosberg retires after 14 laps
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: 'Time Heist' sees a darker side to Peter Capaldi's Doctor
News
peopleActress tells men: 'It's your issue too'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam