Tour inquiry puts Monty in clear but storm rumbles on - Golf - Sport - The Independent

Tour inquiry puts Monty in clear but storm rumbles on

The last thing Colin Montgomerie needed as he sets off here today on three weeks of golf that could just decide the rest of his sporting year, was a rules rumpus that could have tarnished the whole of his sporting life. But the hour-long grilling he had to suffer at a European Tour meeting on Tuesday night threatened to do just that before he was cleared over an affair that has made the Indonesian Open infamous for all the wrong reasons.

The last thing Colin Montgomerie needed as he sets off here today on three weeks of golf that could just decide the rest of his sporting year, was a rules rumpus that could have tarnished the whole of his sporting life. But the hour-long grilling he had to suffer at a European Tour meeting on Tuesday night threatened to do just that before he was cleared over an affair that has made the Indonesian Open infamous for all the wrong reasons.

It was not the Scotsman's final-round 60 that triggered so many alarm bells but a seemingly innocuous thunderstorm break in the second round. Forced off the course because of lightning, the 41-year-old returned the next morning to find his ball was missing and put another in play. But video footage suggested he played it from a different spot, an advantageous one at that. The penalty for such a misdemeanour would be disqualification.

Montgomerie has since been cleared of any wrongdoing because he consulted with his playing partners and insists he replaced the ball as close as he could to where he thought he had left it, but the matter has remained a disgruntled talking point on Tour and that prompted him to donate his prize-money to charity after looking at the tapes and seeing exactly what had raised the concern.

"I'm glad the matter was raised," said Montgomerie, who last Friday handed all his £24,000 purse from the event to the Tsunami Appeal. "The rest of the committee wanted my view on it and I was there to explain."

Others questioned at the Tour meeting included the Tour's executive director, George O'Grady, in an inquisition that is believed to have lasted more than an hour ­ a meeting where passions ran high. But the tone in that boardroom merely represented the disquiet that has been building since the incident in March. As one professional, who would not be named, said yesterday: "The feeling was, rightly or wrongly, that because he was Colin Montgomerie, he's been treated more sympathetically than some of us might have been." But Montgomerie is now hopeful that the saga has been forgotten. "I think it's been put to bed," he said.

That is some wish in the whispering environs of the locker-room, although the quality of field here at the Dunlop Masters should at least ensure there will something else to be talking about. Lee Westwood, David Howell, Ian Poulter, Brian Davis, Paul Casey ... they've all deigned to forsake the millions of the American PGA Tour to line up.

European Tour bigwigs would therefore not have welcomed comments from the player they have most come to count on as a loyal supporter. "Seeing the likes of Greg [Owen] and Brian [Davis] all striking it rich in the States this year has made me think, 'Hang on a minute ­ I'd like some of that'," said Montgomerie. "Now I've got more freedom in my life I might well take up more chances to play there."

Ouch. That really would be the end.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen