A four-under-par 68, in the second round of the Johnnie Walker Championship, had the former European No.1 marching up the leaderboard with a four-under 140, which left him four strokes behind halfway pacesetters, Mark Foster and Richard Finch.
Montgomerie let his clubs do the talking on the PGA Centenary course. Once off it, he swiftly added his voice to the inevitable and unavoidable Ryder Cup conversations. It took him a while to get warmed up, mind you. "I'm wet and I want to go home so I'm going shortly," he said after being left soaked to the skin by a Perthshire deluge. Some 30 minutes later, Monty, visibly galvanised with the offering of a sizeable slice of fruit loaf and a cup of tea from a caring press officer, was still in full cry.
There was plenty to mull over, after all. The previous day, Jose Maria Olazabal, who took over the reins from Montgomerie as European Ryder Cup captain, had caused something of a transatlantic stir when he effectively dismissed Padraig Harrington's hopes of a wild card pick for next month's match by saying that the Irishman would need to "at least win" this weekend's The Barclays in New York. Talk of a lingering feud between the duo, which stems back to a pitch mark incident in the 2003 Seve Trophy during which Olazabal felt Harrington had questioned his integrity, had been dredged up again. The Pringle knit has seemingly hit the fan.
Asked if that squabble has coloured his current judgement, Olazabal hit back. "Well, that is a lot of B.S and if that was the case, I would be failing as a captain," he said. "If people believe that is interfering with my judgement then they are completely wrong. There is not a single bit of truth in that. The thing is that Padraig, unfortunately, is well back. Obviously he needs to do extraordinary well, but I will have to look at other things also. You can't judge a player by one tournament."
No one said the captain's job was going to be a piece of cake and Montgomerie, between mouthfuls of his own cake, was quickly quizzed on this hot topic.
The 49-year-old, who plumped for Harrington as one of his wild cards for the 2010 Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, was reminded of the spat he had with Ian Poulter during the 2005 Seve Trophy, when the Englishman's decision to go and practice instead of supporting his team-mates incurred the wrath of the then skipper Monty. As far as he is concerned, individual issues should not cloud the collective concerns.
"You try to say there were some personal issues between Poulter and I?" said Montgomerie, after equalling his lowest score of the season. "Look, after you're on tour for 20 years, things happen between players. To me, things should be completely put aside and the best team to go to Chicago should be picked accordingly. There should be no personality involved and I'm sure Olazabal thinks the same."
One player who doesn't have to worry about the wild card situation is Monty himself. "The wild card to me would be extremely wild," joked this week's tournament chairman after putting himself in the hunt for a first tour win in five years. Four birdies in a row on his outward half had the world No.510 creeping up the order and gave him something positive to build on after a run of three successive missed cuts.
With his myriad commitments away from the golf course, it's hardly surprising that the Ryder Cup talisman's best result of the campaign remains a 31st in the Volvo Golf Champions at the start of the year. "When most of the players have been practising hard and stuff, I've been doing corporate work and running around," he added. "I'm in the top-10 now and that's nice to see."
On a decent day for the Scots, Helensburgh veteran Gary Orr vaulted into the fringes of the top-20 with a bogey-free 67 for 141 while Chris Doak, tied sixth in his last European Tour event in Austria, propelled himself up the field and on to the 142 mark with a best-of-the-day 66 which was polished with an eagle-three on the 18th. Stephen Gallacher also finished with a flourish and birdied four of his last five holes in a 67 to sit alongside his countryman.