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Colin Montgomerie’s run at the British could come to an end

Shane Bacon
Devil Ball Golf

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You know the last time you couldn't drop a wager on Colin Montgomerie at the British Open? Rory McIlroy had just been born. So had Rickie Fowler, and Matteo Manassero wasn't even a twinkle in his parent's eyes.

But that could all change for Monty if he doesn't finish in the top-five at either the upcoming French or Scottish Opens after failing to qualify on Monday for a spot at Royal St. George.

How bad was it for Montgomerie? He finished last in the qualifying field, 18 shots behind the medalist as he continues his putrid play (last week he posted his worst score ever at a European Tour event when he shot 78-79 at the Welsh Open).

With Montgomerie set to turn 48 at the end of this month, we must look back at how close he's come to winning majors championships in the past, and how his legacy will be remembered as much for his missed opportunities as it will for his run at the top of the Order of Merit.

1992 U.S. Open -- Monty was playing brilliant golf at Pebble Beach that year, and when he closed with his final round 70, Jack Nicklaus famously told the Scot "congratulations on your first U.S. Open victory." That was as premature as it gets, as Tom Kite claimed his first and only major championship.

1994 U.S. Open -- Just two years after Pebble, Montgomerie was again near the top of the leaderboard, making an 18-hole playoff with Ernie Els and Loren Roberts, but shot a 78 on Monday to the pair's 74s.

1995 PGA Championship -- Three birdies over his final three holes landed Monty in a playoff with Steve Elkington, but the Australian holed a 35-foot putt to defeat Colin.

1997 U.S. Open -- If there ever was a round that Colin Montgomerie will look back on as the one he'd love to have back, it would be the second round at this U.S. Open. An incredible 65 to open was followed by a 76 the second day, and even with great rounds over the weekend, Monty fell one shot short of Els.

2006 U.S. Open -- If the one round was in '97, the one shot would be in '06, when Monty was standing in the middle of the fairway on the 18th with a mid-iron in hand. All he needed was a par on the final hole for a win, and as it turned out, a bogey for a playoff, but he chunked his second shot, flubbed his chip, and three-putted for double-bogey, losing to Geoff Ogilvy by a shot.

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