Sunday, July 17, 2005

As Jack Bows Out

With Jack Nicklaus having departed both the Open Championship at St. Andrews and Scotland itself aboard Air Bear One all headlines focus on Tiger Woods. The headline you won’t read, but all golf fans are thinking is:

Monty Well Positioned for Collapse

Colin Montgomerie is in contention for the one major championship in golf that means more to him than any other. The revered Scot whose pedigree runs through Royal Troon Golf Club in well positioned to make a run at this year’s Open Championship and become the Champion Golfer for the year. Unfortunately for Monty, every serious golf fan is all too aware of his inability to yet win his national championship.

Colin Montgomerie is the sort of tragic figure that all true golf fans hope will finally summit the elusive peak that has so vexed him. As much as we Americans would love to see Tiger Woods crowned champion yet again, the hope that Monty will reach his goal is alive because we all know that there is a mountain that vexes us all, whatever the course or hole is for each of us.

St. Andrews, known to all as the birth place of golf, is indeed hallowed ground. No one need think beyond the Valley of Sin in front of the 18th green, a former burial ground. With Jack crossing the Swilcan Burn and cresting the Swilcan Bridge for the last time in his storied career it would seem appropriate for his heir apparent, Tiger Woods, to hoist the Claret Jug high on Sunday, but the thought of Monty overcoming his past and capturing this year’s Open Championship would be the perfect exclamation point on a career that saw him lead the Order of Merit for nearly a decade.


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