IT IS a well-known fact that Colin Montgomerie’s induction into Golf’s Hall of Fame last year proved timely for the Scot as it earned him exemption for the Champions Tour just as he turned 50.
There was protest, from a very small minority anyway, that he had joined the sport’s greats despite the fact he didn’t have a major to his name and, given the importance of those events in the game, you could probably see their point. Some of the flak now being aimed at Montgomerie, though, on the back of changes to the criteria being announced at the weekend is nothing short of scandalous.
For instance, one American blogger wrote: “This may ultimately be Monty’s greatest contribution to the game. For while the bloated one and his questionable 2013 induction didn’t come up, it does not seem much of a reach to conclude that his inclusion (and Fred Couples’ to a lesser extent) prompted Sunday’s announcement.”
Based on majors, Montgomerie would not meet the new criteria as two are required. But he would skate it under the other classification of 15 or more official victories on an approved Tour.
And, having amassed no less than 31 European Tour victories, the majority of which helped him secure eight Order of Merit titles, based on the new system he would surely have secured the required 75 per cent of the vote rather than just scraping 50 per cent under the old one.
Montgomerie is not everyone’s cup of tea and never will be. He has achieved far greater success in the game, though, than a lot of people give him credit for.