Monty rues putting misses

Colin Montgomerie has blamed poor putting for failing in his bid at Walton Heath to qualify for the US Open.

Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie blamed poor putting today for failing in his bid to qualify for next month’s US Open at Pebble Beach, the course on which he finished third on his debut in 1992.
The 46-year-old Scot’s two rounds of 70, both two under par, on Walton Heath’s Old and New courses in Surrey were not enough to give him one of 11 spots on offer to the 77-strong field.
But BMW PGA champion Simon Khan, who hardly slept following his win in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth on Sunday, was forced to hang around to see if he was in a play-off.
Khan, who made a late decision to play the 36-hole event, looked exhausted as he posted a seven-under total of 137.
After a morning 67 on the New the 37-year-old from Essex, who was the joint winner of this qualifier last year, added a 70.
“I had a few legless shots,” said Khan, referring to tiredness rather than any hangover.
“I felt a bit hazy over the ball on the greens and had a complete lack of clarity. I just couldn’t see the lines and couldn’t get the pace. But swing-wise it felt good and I’m delighted at how I played.”
Montgomerie commented: “It’s very disappointing. I had an opportunity to get to eight under easy, but missed too many putts as usual.
“Same old story for six years. I’ll try again at Sunningdale.”
That was a reference to the Open Championship qualifier in two weeks’ time, when he will be trying to earn a return to St Andrews, scene of his runners-up finish to Tiger Woods five years ago.
Former Ryder Cup team-mate Darren Clarke also failed to make it through, but Surrey’s James Morrison, a contender for Rookie of the Year this season after losing a play-off for the Spanish Open recently, was looking ahead to his first major.
Morrison, who chose golf over cricket after being a roommate of Alastair Cook at youth level, had rounds of 68 and 65 for an 11-under aggregate and was the early clubhouse leader.