Nothing like calling a truce on the eve of the Open. James Corrigan reports that Sandy Lyle, former 2010 Ryder Cup captain hopeful, thinks his embarrassing WD last year was minor compared to Monty's Jakarta incident.
When asked whether he believed his decision to sacrifice a precious Open berth so early into the first round at Birkdale last year had affected his own captaincy chances, Lyle replied: "You would have to ask the committee that. But you've got Monty with his situation where he was dropping the ball badly overseas. And that is far worse than someone pulling out because he has got sore knuckles. It's a form of what [could be called] 'cheating'. If that was going to go against Monty you would think: 'Yeah, that's a case where he is breaking the rules'. There have been a few times where he has been called in to see the videos."
And this couldn't have helped matters:
Little wonder, therefore, that Lyle felt so baffled when his efforts to contact his one-time campaign leader went unanswered. "I rang him a few times straight after the decision but didn't get a reply," he said. "Eventually I got a letter, but I had the impression that was written by [his manager] Guy Kinnings."
And this won't help matters!
"You never see him!" Lyle said. "He disappears. Playing on the regular tour he isn't around much. You might see him half an hour before a round. He is a bit aloof. And this age factor thing is a load of crap. You have got [Paul] Azinger, at the last Ryder Cup his two vice-captains were Raymond Floyd and Dave Stockton who are both in their late sixties. They got on great with the team because they were respected. It is all about respect in the end and how good a character you are to control and to be a leader."
Meanwhile Monty confesses to Derek Lawrenson that he fears he may never win again.