The double bogey that followed Montgomerie's momentary mental lapse will go down as one of the sadder moments in recent memory, although he has since spent time with his sports psychologist Hugh Mantle and the pair have analysed exactly what went wrong. Part of their discussion focused on the moments before he struck the ball, when he was forced to wait while his playing partner Vijay Singh sought a ruling from officials.
"I'm convinced that, if I was to go up to that ball at my usual pace and hit it, I'd have probably won. But you have to play according to your playing partner and the rules. If I'd been in the tent he would have had to wait on me. It's amazing what runs through the mind at that stage," Montgomerie said.
Carnoustie possesses the most majestic and humiliating golf course in the world, though which wind the evil, serpentine coils of the Barry Burn. The stream is the grave of a million hopes. What queues of ghosts must parade there nightly, to wring fleshless hands over that fatal short approach, or to grope in the turf for the fragments of turn scorecards. R.J.B. SELLAR