After woeful 84, Monty disappears... for good?

Saturday August 9th, 2008
Montgomerie shot a second-round 84.
Fred Vuich/SI

Adult content warning! This article contains explicit scenes depicting ugly golf by a proud player. Don't say you weren't warned.

Colin Montgomerie shot a second-round 84 at the PGA Championship on Friday, equaling his worst score in a major (the British Open at Muirfield in 2002). It was also his worst round in the States, overtaking last year's 82 at the U.S. Open. It must have been cold comfort for Monty when he holed a six-footer on 18 to avoid tying his highest score as a professional-an 85 at the 1992 B&H International on the European tour.

"Make that your last laugh, OK?" he snapped at an American reporter before agreeing to sift through the wreckage of his five-hour mauling at the hands of the Monster that is Oakland Hills. Monty, who finished tied for 149th at 20-over-par, said he did not realize the significance of the putt on 18. "I wasn't conscious of that score," he said. "I wasn't conscious of much, to be honest. That was the most difficult day I've had since my poor score at Muirfield in 2002. But today was as severe as any course I have ever played. Nothing like the course we [the European Ryder Cup team] did so well on four years ago."

Four years ago Monty couldn't miss with his putter, and he curled in the winning putt to defeat Team USA on the same green. In a cruel twist of fate that was not lost on the Scot, Monty's 84th shot on Friday was holed from almost the same spot. "So that was good," he sighed, in an attempt to eke out a sliver of positivity from a 14-over-par day.

But there were no positives. Heck, he was even playing badly with Baddeley.

How badly? Monty's stats paint a horrifying picture. He had ten bogeys and two double-bogeys. ("When you get on a bogey run around here, it's very difficult to get off it," he said.) He rarely struggles off the tee, and over two rounds Monty did hit 16 of 28 fairways, tying for 17th best in driving accuracy. But he only found 13 of 36 greens (T-145), and he racked up 32 and 37 putts in his two rounds, respectively. It all added up to 20-over, a whopping 12 strokes off the cut line. He finished last among touring pros and outplayed only five club professionals.

Monty may become golf's Jimmy Hoffa. In 1975, the famously missing labor leader disappeared from the parking lot of an Italian restaurant not far from Oakland Hills and was never seen again. After his Friday round, Monty disappeared through the crowd in front of the clubhouse, and you wonder if, at 45, he'll ever threaten again in a major, and if he's played his last Ryder Cup.

"It's one of those things. There you go. Thank you," he said in that unmistakable clipped British tone before scuttling off.

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