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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May, 2005, 04:04 GMT 05:04 UK
Tour aims to end Montgomerie row
Colin Montgomerie
A contrite Montgomerie has apologised for the incident
European Tour bosses have attempted to draw a line under the controversy surrounding Colin Montgomerie's fourth place in March's Indonesian Open.

Fellow players criticised the Scot after he replaced his ball in the wrong spot following an overnight rain delay.

But executive director George O'Grady said on Wednesday: "We have some of the world's best field and rules staff.

"When they make a considered judgement and explain it to the committee, these decisions should not be questioned."

Montgomerie donated his 24,000 winnings from the event to the tsunami appeal after watching a video of the incident and feeling uncomfortable about it.

But comments from players led to a meeting two weeks ago at which members expressed to Montgomerie their "dissatisfaction" over the incident.

And John Paramor, the tour's chief referee, said if the full facts had come to light later in the event Montgomerie would have been disqualified.

I don't think you can disqualify somebody when the tournament is closed
Thomas Bjorn
But committee chairman Jamie Spence said on Wednesday: "I think those who have been kicking up a fuss have not thought it through properly.

"Monty should have marked his ball and if the referee had a split screen (of where Montgomerie's ball was originally and where he eventually chipped from) he would have come to a different conclusion.

"If that had been the case we would not be talking about it now, but I still have a greatest respect for Monty. He has been a great servant of the tour and terrific for the membership."

Thomas Bjorn, another member of the committee, said: "We've talked with Monty and we've talked to the referees and we feel like we put a lid on this.

"The committee didn't feel there was any more that could be done and I don't think the tour feels like there's anything more that can be done.

"We have to trust our referees who know the rules, but they will get it wrong sometimes. But I don't think you can disqualify somebody when the tournament is closed."





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