Colin Montgomerie's name will not be on the start list at The Open for the first time in more than 20 years.
It looked like the 48-year-old, runner-up to Tiger Woods at St Andrews in 2005 and who has been a fixture at The Open since 1989, might rescue a place at the last chance saloon when he charged into a share of the lead at the Barclays Scottish Open yesterday.
But ‘Monty’, needing a top five finish just to have a chance of making it to Sandwich, knew it was game over when he double-bogeyed the short 11th.
He fell away to joint 31st place on 10 under par, nine behind winner Luke Donald, and so his only involvement in Kent will be in his role as president of the Golf Foundation charity.
“I got in a position and it's disappointing,” said the eight-time European number one, whose five second places in majors are a record for someone who has never won one.
“It was going well and then I sort of ran out of puff. I'm just driving home now and it will sink in then.
“I'll start again and I'm a lot more hopeful than I was three weeks ago — they have been much better.”
Montgomerie had been rightly
proud of making it into every Open for the past two decades, even coming through a qualifying event twice, and commented: “When you haven't won it you've always got to find a way in and I did it for 21 years — most careers don't last that long.”
Five off the lead at the start of the day, he narrowed that to three by completing a second round 69.
The cutting of the event from four to three rounds because of all the rain might have worked in his favour after he eagled the second from 50 feet and then came close to chipping in for another at the sixth.
That made him part of a seven-way tie for the lead but, after his double-bogey, he dropped two more strokes and a hat-trick of birdies from the 15th were too little too late.
It was a fellow Scot who did claim the Open place, however.
With a 10-foot birdie on the last Tour, rookie Scott Jamieson climbed into a seven-way tie for third and earned the spot because his world ranking of 203rd was better than Chilean Mark Tullo (232), Austrian Martin Wiegele (305) and Italian Lorenzo Gagli (353).