Good old Monty

First published on the Golf Monthly website on Friday 30th April 2010

A European Tour event wouldn’t be the same if Monty didn’t lose his rag about something at some point. I wonder if he has some sort of contract that stipulates, in each tournament, he must snarl at a minimum of six photographers, point aggressively at nothing in particular five times per round and have at least one verbal outburst at a tournament official. It’s not so far-fetched. Monty’s temperament generates more column inches for the European Tour than almost anything else.

Apparently he lost his cool again yesterday at the Spanish Open. I happened to flick on the first round from Seville while having my lunch just in time to see Monty comfortably miss a three-foot par putt on the 18th green for a closing three-putt bogey.

I couldn’t quite make out the tune but, in the background, you could hear some sort of thumping dance track. I wondered if it was from a car going past but it seems it was spilling over from the tented village. The camera then cut to a close-up of Monty. He had a face on like a baddy in a children’s film whose dastardly plans have once again been thwarted.

I didn’t see what happened next but, apparently, the big Scot stomped off the green and unloaded both barrels on tournament director Miguel Vidaor about the musical accompaniment to his closing hole. No doubt he would have complimented Miguel on generating a great atmosphere if he’d rolled the birdie effort home.

If my theory about Monty’s “anger contract” is right then perhaps it was all premeditated. Can you imagine the discussion? “Hmm, press coverage is a little down on last year… what can we do?” “Wait, isn’t that Monty on the 18th green over there? Hey you behind the bar, crank that music up a little…”

I’ve always been a fan of Monty and it’s principally because he wears his heart on his sleeve. Pro golf is sadly lacking in characters and, love him or loathe him, nobody can deny that Monty is a character.

There are few things in life that provoke such emotion from me as golf so I find it easy to sympathise with the Ryder Cup captain. I fight a continuous battle against massive mood swings on the golf course.

One moment I’m on top of the world, smiling and telling jokes, thinking about how great my life is and how I should tell my wife I love her more often. Then I’ll make a double bogey and will honestly feel like ending it all. I’ll be completely unable to put the insignificant blip into any sort of context.

Then I’ll birdie the next hole and my disposition will shift from utter misery to cheerful optimism. It’s exhausting stuff.

Anyway, Monty goes a little too far sometimes and I’m sure he’ll apologise to Miguel for his outburst. But, I’ve just checked and the Independent, Telegraph, Guardian and Scotsman websites all have stories about Monty’s Spanish Open rant… Mission accomplished?

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