Colin Montgomerie’s run of 21 successive appearances in the British Open championship looks in jeopardy of making it to 22 after the big Scot finished last in his qualifying event at Sunningdale on Monday.
Montgomerie, who recently finished in the top-10 at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, struggled for form last week at The Celtic Manor and that bad run seemed to carry on into yesterday with Montgomerie carding a 36-hole total of 6-over par 145 to leave him well outside the 10 places up for grabs.
Montgomerie finished a full 18 shots behind winner Graeme Storm, who shot rounds of 65 and 62 on the Old and New courses respectively to finish three shots ahead of the Saab Wales Open winner Alex Noren.
Also booking their place for Sandwich next month were Scot Peter Whiteford, England’s Gary Boyd and 2002 Open runner-up Thomas Levet; the trio finishing a further shot behind.
The five remaining places went to English pair Kenneth Ferrie and Richard McEvoy, Frenchman Gregory Bourdy, Spaniard Alejandro Canizares and South African George Coetzee, who claimed the final spot through a five-man playoff. Coetzee finally booked his place with a 20-foot birdie putt on the sixth extra hole to see off Pablo Larrazabal for the final slot in the Open field.
Scot Marc Warren and Spain’s Ignacio Garrido were both disqualified after playing the wrong ball.
All is not lost for Montgomerie, however, and he could still yet qualify should he card a top-5 finish at either the French or Scottish Opens. Alternatively, he could qualify via one of the two spots available through a mini-money list on the European Tour that continuew with this week’s Italian Open.