Thursday 22 February 2018

Rory too tired to win British Open says Monty

Winning European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie thinks Irish wunderkid Rory McIlroy is mentally too tired to follow up his US Open victory by winning the British Open at Sandwich next week.

The 22-year-old Northern Ireland star made the decision to take three weeks off after his pillar to post win at the US Open last month but Montgomerie said it would have been in his interests to have played an event before the third major of the year.

"I can understand two out of three, but I would like to have seen him play a competitive tournament between the two majors," Montgomerie said. "He's so natural I don't think there are any fears about his game, but it's the locker room – there are going to be so many people wanting to congratulate him.

"Whether it was the French or the Scottish Open he could have got that out of his system and out of the way so he can start the Open afresh. Now he's got that ahead of him and on the 1st tee I think he will be mentally tired – but who am I to say?"

Montgomerie, who has never won a major and will not be in the Open field unless he finishes in the top five at Castle Stuart near Inverness this week went on to say "I hope he does well – of course I do – and I think he will contend," he stressed.

Speaking of his own experience, Padraig Harrington, the winner at Carnoustie in 2007 and Royal Birkdale in 2008, said: "When you've won and you go to your next tournament there are 155 other players and 155 other caddies who want to say: 'Well done.'"

Padraig Harrington has decided to compete in the Scottish Open this year in preparation for the British Open, because it has switched from the inland Loch Lomond to a links course.

Vijay Singh was joint runner-up the last time the Open was held at Sandwich in 2003, and if fit will have the chance to play in the championship there next week. The former world No1 pulled out of the AT&T National in America last week with back trouble. Singh is one of five players added to the Open field on Monday off the world rankings. Singh is joined by the Americans Webb Simpson, JB Holmes and Steve Marino and Japan's Yuta Ikeda.

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