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Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Friday, 17 July 2009 16:17 UK

Montgomerie 'put off' by Lyle row

The 138th Open, Turnberry
Date: 16-19 July
Coverage: Live TV coverage on BBC Two, Online and the Red Button, live on Radio 5 Live and text commentary online on all four days


Lyle regrets timing, not comments

Colin Montgomerie has claimed that his public spat with fellow Scot Sandy Lyle distracted him from his game at the 138th Open at Turnberry.

In an interview, Lyle accused Montgomerie of "a form of cheating" at an event in 2005 and has since labelled his rival a "bit of a drama queen".

Montgomerie, Europe's Ryder Cup captain for 2010, shot rounds of 71 and 74 to stand at five over and missed the cut.

Asked if Lyle's remarks had affected him, Montgomerie said: "Very much so."

Montgomerie also appears to have put an end to any hopes Lyle may have had of becoming his vice-captain at Celtic Manor.

"I thought it was amusing this morning - and this is the last thing I want to say on the matter - that he hopes [the row] doesn't jeopardise his vice-captaincy position," said Montgomerie. "I thought that was very funny."

Montgomerie, who has still yet to win a major, was disappointed with the inconsistency of his golf at Turnberry on Thursday and Friday.

"The last six birdies I've had I've followed them with six bogeys," he said.

"You can't do that. You feel you are making one step forward only to go two steps back unfortunately."

After a second round 73 left Lyle eight over for the tournament, the 51-year-old said he wanted to end the row with Montgomerie which has been rumbling on all week.


"I feel sorry for Colin in some ways. I don't want to keep stirring the pot but I keep opening my mouth and making back pages," said Lyle.

"I think we have to call an end and it will all be dealt with behind the scenes.

"A lot of us know he is an emotional person and gets a bit hot under the collar and little comments like this in the papers don't help.

"But he'll get over it, he is a big enough boy. I think he has been in the game long enough."

The row began shortly before the Open when Lyle was asked whether quitting last year's tournament after 10 holes because of bad weather could have jeopardised his chances of becoming Ryder Cup captain.

In response Lyle drew attention to an incident involving Montgomerie at the Indonesian Open in Jakarta in 2005, when he incorrectly replaced his ball after a weather delay, with Lyle calling it "a form of cheating".

"I don't really regret saying it. It was light-hearted, it was not a full-out blast at Colin. We are actually quite good buddies, we are not enemies.

"I've always liked to say what I feel but I won't stir it any more. It has been done now and we have to face the music."

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