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.
Imagine, for instance, a repetition of eighteen holes, all of the supreme excellence of the most exceptional hole we can think of at the moment - the Seventeenth at St. Andrews. The strain of it all! Eighteen tee shots of the same intensity or eighteen approaches which courted disaster in the same dire form. It would to a certainty break our hearts and leave us nervous wrecks or golf lunatics in real earnest.
TOM SIMPSON and H.N. WETHERED