Scottish hometown hero upset by finish

Deflating bogey on 18th has Montgomerie miffed, but he's only 5 shots back


British Open

July 18, 2004|By Thomas Bonk | Thomas Bonk,LOS ANGELES TIMES

TROON, Scotland - He's up, he's down, he's happy, he's miserable, he's Colin Montgomerie, the hometown hero who is still in the race at the British Open, but just barely. And that would make him happy if he wasn't so sad.

Montgomerie started the third round three shots off the lead and ended it five shots down after his round of 1-over-par 72 yesterday at Royal Troon that included a missed putt and a deflating bogey on the 18th, only minutes after he had doffed his cap to acknowledge the cheers of the crowd that chanted his name from the grandstand.

Montgomerie was miffed when he missed that putt.

"It was an exceptionally good putt and I am sure if you look at an action replay, it might actually go in this time," he said. "I hit it exactly where I wanted it to and how it missed, I don't know."

There has been a lot of pressure on Montgomerie, whose father was the longtime secretary at Royal Troon, and he said it's not much fun.

"No, not at all, and anyone who says this is fun is joking and they're having a laugh. This is not fun, and this is not enjoyment. This is a job and a horrible one."

Kendall shoots 75

Skip Kendall, the leader after 36 holes, shot a 75 and fell into a tie for ninth with Montgomerie and Mike Weir.

Kendall knew he didn't get off to such a great start when his tee shot at the first hole went left and the ball rolled underneath a metal fence.

Kendall, who shot a 66 Friday, wants to rekindle old memories.

"Hopefully, I can do what I did yesterday, tomorrow," he said.

Calcavecchia's course

For some reason, and Mark Calcavecchia has no idea why, he plays well at Royal Troon. It's where he won his only major, the 1989 British Open, and the last time he was here, in 1997, he tied for 10th.

After making the cut on the number with a birdie at the 18th, Calcavecchia shot a 2-under 69 yesterday, and hopes he can sneak into the top 20.

He said he has nothing but respect for Royal Troon.

"It's tough just because of the wind and the bad bounces you can get. You have to accept what happens to you," he said. "You're going to get some bad bounces. The very next hole you might hit a bad shot."

O'Meara's old ways

Mark O'Meara shot a 68 and saved par at the 18th after a bunker shot with an awkward stance of one foot in the sand and one foot out.

Said O'Meara, 47: "Stretching helps a lot, but I've got to tell you, the old body doesn't feel quite the same."

Curtis misses cut

When Ben Curtis missed the cut, he became the fifth defending British Open champion to miss the cut in the past 50 years. The others: Paul Lawrie in 2000, O'Meara in 1999, Calcavecchia in 1990 and Tom Watson in 1976.

Money matters

Based on Friday's exchange rate, the purse at the British Open (4 million pounds) translates to about $7.49 million, the largest of the four major championships. The winner will get $1,348,272.

Retief Goosen earned $1,125,000 for winning the U.S. Open, while Phil Mickelson got $1.17 million at the Masters.

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper. The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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