Singh on song but Monty is off key

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The Independent Online

It was the tale of two 46-year-olds here yesterday morning. While Vijay Singh showed there may well be a major left in his creaking old bones, Colin Montgomerie seemingly has only the groans of frustration left in his.

Singh shot a 72 to be three-under and remain in contention; Montgomerie shot a 78 to be nine-over and miss the cut. It means the Scot will be absent from the final two rounds for the fifth time in as many majors. Surely his time as a contender has passed.

In contrast, the Fijian is in there fighting, as he revealed with his dissatisfaction at yesterday's score. "I'm really disappointed with my round," said the two-time winner of this major. "I had a lot of chances and two small missed putts here and there."

Singh's sense of urgency is understandable. At the start of this year, the Fijian underwent his own knee surgery – nowhere near as radical as that of Tiger Woods as it only kept him out for three weeks – and since then this prolific PGA Tour winner has yet to add to his 58 titles. "I haven't played well all year," added the Fijian. "I've been working hard." This would be Singh's first winless year since 2001. Action stations. Except desperation was exactly the wrong emotion at Hazeltine yesterday. Poor old Montgomerie, however, could hardly feel anything else. What Montgomerie would do for such a problem as Singh's as his major career continued to slip out of view.

Montgomerie – also 46, but anything but evergreen – was absent from the last two rounds for the fifth time in as many majors. The Scot is only in town because he received an invite as Ryder Cup captain. He has not recorded a top 10 in any event in more than 14 months. It is all but over.

What might not have helped his mood was that the American Ryder Cup captain, Corey Pavin, was up there on level par. Totally irrelevant to the match, perhaps. But not to Monty's ego.