Colin Montgomerie’s rushed journey to take place in The Open qualifying on Tuesday was all in vain as the Scottish veteran failed to make the field for the major after struggling in wet conditions.
Montgomerie drove from Pittsburgh, where he finished ninth on Sunday in the Senior Players Championship, to New Jersey, and then flew home to Scotland — arriving on Monday.
After a few hours’ rest, he teed up on Tuesday at the Gullane No. 1 course, east of Edinburgh, in the hope of securing one of three spots in golf’s oldest major — which starts on July 18 at nearby Muirfield.
Montgomerie was tied second after the opening round with a 69 in the morning, but then got caught up in the slow pace of play to shoot a 76 in the afternoon.
“The pace of play was shocking, but that’s not the reason why I didn’t qualify. I was five-under through 12 holes this morning and threw it away. I played very poorly this afternoon,” Montgomerie said.
Montgomerie will now take a week off and return to the US next week for the US Senior Open in Omaha, Nebraska.
It will mean missing the Scottish Open the same week and it will be the first time Monty will not tee up in his national Open since his Scottish Open debut in 1987.
Australia’s John Wade shot a new Dunbar course record of seven-under 63 to qualify, while Scotland’s Lloyd Saltman also qualified for a third time. Saltman, who was the leading amateur in the 2010 event at St Andrews, lives close to Muirfield.
“I’m just delighted big time to be back into The Open, and especially Muirfield, as I have been driving past every day and watching the stands going up,” Saltman said. “To be now playing at Muirfield and just living 10 minutes down the road is amazing. I’ve only played there twice before, and that’s been in the winter when it’s been freezing and with the ground solid. I practice at Archerfield, but not being familiar with Muirfield I will have to get myself over there.”
Scottish trio Grant Forrest, Gareth Wright and George Murray, India’s Shiv Kapur, Sweden’s Oscar Floren and five Englishmen — Jimmy Mullen, Steven Tiley, Tyrrell Hatton, Ben Stow and Matthew Fitzpatrick — also qualified.