x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Squabbling Scots sent packing

Sandy Lyle and Colin Montgomerie will no longer be able to fire verbal volleys at each other from the media centre after failing to qualify for the final two rounds.

TURNBERRY // Sandy Lyle and Colin Montgomerie, two local heroes who have injected a touch of rancour into this Open championship, will no longer be able to fire verbal volleys at each other from the media centre after failing to qualify for the final two rounds. There is little chance of their unseemly squabble coming to an immediate halt, though as they go through the Turnberry exit door, Montgomerie at five over par for his two rounds and Lyle at eight over.

The two Scots - mainly Lyle to be fair - have been at loggerheads since Montgomerie was made European Ryder Cup captain at a European Tour meeting in Dubai in February. Lyle inflamed the situation on arriving at Turnberry by dragging up old dirt of a cheating allegation against his compatriot. The 1985 Open champion then made a botched attempt at apologising, and when Monty refused to enter into placatory talks, he was described as a "drama queen" by the vociferous Lyle.

Montgomerie has been the more dignified throughout the affair but needed little prompting to declare that there is now "no chance" of Lyle being offered a supporting role in next year's Ryder Cup set-up. Sir Nick Faldo, who captained Europe in last year's Ryder Cup defeat by the United States and is a three-time Open champion, was another on the wrong side of the halfway cut as was Greg Norman, the champion here in 1986. Norman was one shot the better at 10 over par for his two rounds.

Other big names going home early were three former winners from the United States - Todd Hamilton, Ben Curtis and David Duval - with a fourth, Mark O'Meara, sweating on four over par as the cut-off point hovered between his score and one better. Mike Weir, the Canadian who won the US Masters six years ago, also perished in the typically unseasonal Scottish weather. wjohnson@thenational.ae