Angry Scotsmen Overshadow Actual Golf At British Open

We've got all eyes on Tiger and a 17-year-old phenom, and we've got Tom Watson nearly shooting his age. But what the British Open really needed was a good catfight.

What should have been a week to celebrate Turnberry and the best of Scottish golf is rapidly turning into Dueling Scotsmen. It started Monday when Sandy Lyle was asked if walking off the course due to injury at last year's Open had anything to do with him not being named captain of the next Ryder Cup squad—a position that went to Colin Montgomerie.

That is far worse than someone pulling out because of sore knuckles," Lyle said. "You have Monty dropping the ball badly — that's what you would call a form of cheating."

That "cheating" would be Montgomerie's iffy ball drop at the 2005 Indonesian Open. He was never punished, but the move rubbed a lot of players the wrong way. It must have, if it's still being brought up four years later.

Lyle, realizing he might be overreacting a bit, gave a non-apology apology, then waited outside the clubhouse to discuss the matter personally with Montgomerie. Monty never showed. Lyle should have let it drop there. He didn't.

We should get together and sort it out over a couple of pints. Colin is Colin. We do sometimes call him a bit of a drama queen. You have got to get around to it and stop hiding behind your manager and come out and have a talk."

Montgomerie responded by, well, hiding behind his manager, who gave a statement today:

It is all one-sided. It is ridiculous. If one person wants to make himself look ridiculous, then that is fine. People are making this out to be a row. It is not a row, it is one guy who has an issue. Monty does not want to be bothered. He wants to concentrate on the Open and not be drawn into this. Colin left a message with Sandy earlier in the year. Why would he want to speak to Sandy now? Sandy has just defamed him publicly."

You can be sure we haven't heard the last of this, especially in Scotland, where the media treat golf almost like a real sport.

Get Ready For More From Lyle-Monty Dustup [ESPN.com]
Sandy Lyle Calls Colin Montgomerie a ‘Drama Queen' [Times of London]