Monty voices McIlroy concern
Colin Montgomerie has expressed his concern at Rory McIlroy opting not to play an event before the Open at Royal St George's.
Last Updated: 04/07/11 5:37pm
Colin Montgomerie has expressed his concern at Rory McIlroy opting not to play an event before the Open at Royal St George's next week.
McIlroy will head straight to Sandwich and will play in the Open in his first event since his stunning victory at the US Open at Congressional near Washington last month.
The Northern Irishman became the new big superstar in golf with his eight-shot victory to land his maiden major, and many believe he will again be the one to beat at St George's.
Montgomerie also thinks he will be a contender, but would have liked McIlroy to play an event before the Open to get the obvious furore over his return to the course out of the way before the big one.
The victorious European Ryder Cup captain feels that playing just one event in the three weeks before the next major could have been a better option for McIlroy.
"I can understand two out of three, but I would like to have seen him play a competitive tournament between the two majors," said Montgomerie.
"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 first tee I think he will be mentally tired - but who am I to say?"
Montgomerie, who has come so close over his career but just failed to win a major, is not even in the field next week - his last opportunity is to finish in the top five at Castle Stuart near Inverness this week.
The veteran Scot hopes he can battle his way into the Open field at late notice, and hopes to see McIlroy do well once he is there.
"I hope he does well - of course I do - and I think he will contend," he added.
Two-time Open winner Padraig Harrington was with Montgomerie at the same HSBC event in London, and agreed that there is a lot to deal with after winning a major.
"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'," he added.
Harrington won back-to-back Opens, at Carnoustie in 2007 and Royal Birkdale in 2008, and has changed his own preparation this year to take in the Barclays Scottish Open.
That is because it has switched from the inland Loch Lomond to a links course at Castle Stuart, and that event now has a stellar field with some vital links preparation on offer.