Monty criticizes Augusta's invitation policy

Monty criticizes Augusta’s invitation policy

Colin Montgomerie finished tied for 15th at Carnoustie in 1999.

(AP) — Colin Montgomerie will not be going to the Masters for only the second time in the last 17 years, because he was not among the top finishers in the majors last year and failed to crack the top 50 in the world ranking.

And then there’s his birthplace.

In an interview with The Independent newspaper in Britain, the scowling Scot poked fun at Augusta National for its eligibility and said the club panders to Asian players because of its television markets.

The Masters offered special foreign invitations earlier this year to Prayad Marksaeng of Thailand, Liang Wen-hong of China and Jeev Milkha Singh of India. All are ranked below Montgomerie, who is No. 75.

“There has been no call from Augusta and I am not expecting one,” Montgomerie said. “Now, if I were the only person in the country, a la China, I might get in. It is a strange way to make up a field for a major championship – television rights. They are quite open about why.”

He noted that the last time he missed the Masters, in 2005, the club took Shingo Katayama because of Japanese TV rights.

“And they have done the same with Thailand and China this time,” Monty said. “I am not the only one who feels that way and not just because I am not in. In or not, I’d be saying the same thing. It is a strange criterion to pick a major field.

“It would be easier to swallow if no one was invited, and it was done on sporting and not commercial criteria.”

Montgomerie has only one top 10 in his 15 appearances at the Masters, and he had missed the cut five of his last six tries.

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