Monty scored some serious points for pointing out one of the silliest things in all of golf: the Scottish Open played on a distinctly American course. Imagine the field they would get if played on a links instead of a lush, inland slog. Well, players are starting to take notice as Mike Aitken reports:
"Yes, I would consider not playing in the Scottish Open at Loch Lomond," said Monty after coaching a group of children as part of the Scottish Executive's clubgolf initiative. "Hopefully, the public wouldn't go against me in that view. It just so happens that the event falls in a great date the week before the Open; but on a course, in terms of preparation, which is not quite right.
"If you think about the play-off at Loch Lomond, where Phil Mickelson was playing OK, even though his driver wasn't great, and Gregory Havret, came through to win, both men subsequently missed the cut at Carnoustie. It's a very different format at Loch Lomond, where it's like playing on clay in tennis, and then going to compete the following week on grass. They are two different forms of competition. You wouldn't find Roger Federer practising for Wimbledon on a clay court the week before. He warms up on grass.
"The best decision Harrington ever made was to play links golf the week before Carnoustie and I think you might find a number of players before Birkdale next summer doing something similar. We've all pencilled in Loch Lomond, but that might not be [next year]. I know Luke Donald has said he will need to consider his preparation next time. I'm not saying anything against the event or the course or the sponsors Barclays, who are all fantastic.
"But it's not preparation for the Open. We're practising on a course that's very different from the one we're playing the following week. The balance isn't there. In terms of preparation [for the Open], it's only five out of ten. But we play for a lot of money [£3 million], a lot of Ryder Cup points and it's very difficult to say 'no' and take that particular week off in the middle of July. But it certainly paid dividends for Harrington."