TURNBERRY, Scotland(AP) Colin Montgomerie isn’t talking. That, however, didn’t stop his flap with Sandy Lyle from rumbling on at the British Open, with Lyle calling his fellow Scotsman a “drama queen.”
Lyle contends Montgomerie cheated when replacing his ball at a tournament in Indonesia four years ago, a dispute that has cast a cloud over the Open at Turnberry. Montgomerie did not give his version of events Thursday, walking off the 18th hole after a 1-over 71 without speaking to reporters.
Tournament officials said Montgomerie, who received a warning for slow play on the 12th through 14th holes, did not want to be interviewed. His only comment so far was that he found Lyle’s apology “strange.”
Lyle said he wanted to talk to Montgomerie and settle their differences. But he appeared to stoke up more trouble when he said Montgomerie was known among players as a “bit of a drama queen” who is hiding behind his manager.
Lyle, the 1985 Open champion, read a statement Tuesday in which he apologized to Montgomerie for bringing up the matter from 2005.
Montgomerie appeared to replace his ball in a more favorable spot after a rain delay at the Indonesian Open. He wound up getting the finish he needed to remain among the top 50 in the world rankings, good enough for a spot in the Masters. Lyle said in a recent interview that Montgomerie dropped the ball badly and “that is a form of cheating.”
Lyle made the allegations after he had been overlooked for the captaincy of Europe’s Ryder Cup team for next year’s event against the United States at Celtic Manor. Although he would like Montgomerie to invite him to be one of his assistants, he said Thursday that now looked unlikely.
“He’s not made any attempt (to make contact). I don’t have his phone number,” Lyle said after his 4-over 75. “I did have it but it’s wiped off now. I can’t even leave a message. He’s got to come around himself and we’ve got to get together at some stage.
“It puts my vice captaincy for the Ryder Cup in jeopardy, very much so, and that’s rather annoying in some ways but I just have to face the music. He might come to grips with it as time goes on but obviously we need to talk.”
Asked about his chances of being one of Montgomerie’s assistants, Lyle replied: “About as (good) as me hitting a 500-yard drive right now I think.”
In an interview with BBC Radio, Lyle said he would like to talk to Montgomerie over a couple of beers to sort out their differences.
“I think Colin’s Colin – we do sometimes call him a bit of a drama queen,” Lyle said. “But you’ve got to get around to it and stop hiding behind your manager and come out and we’ll have a talk.”