Colin Montgomerie fails to qualify for British Open
Colin Montgomerie's rushed journey to take part in British Open qualifying was 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 a flight 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 with a 69 in the morning, but then got caught up in the slow pace of play to shoot 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 States next week for the US Senior Open in Omaha, Nebraska.
It will mean missing the Scottish Open the same week and the first time Monty will not tee off in his national Open since his Scottish Open debut in 1987.
Australia's John Wade shot a new Dunbar course record of seven-under-par 63 to qualify, while Scotland's Lloyd Saltman also qualified for his third British Open. Saltman, who was the leading amateur in the 2010 event at St Andrews, lives close to Muirfield.
"I'm just delighted to be back into the Open and especially Muirfield as I have been driving past every day and watching the stands going up," he said.
Others who qualified were 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.
And helping steer Kapur into the major is his work with Italian Golf Federation coach Alberto Binaghi, who also works with Italian sensation Matteo Manassero, the winner of the recent European Tour flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship.
"We worked mainly on my short game and hitting shots in the wind ," Kapur said. "I played at The Open at Hoylake in 2006 but missed the cut. Let's hope I can do a bit better this time."
Associated Press, Agence France-Presse