These long, dark summer days are quite something, aren’t they? Gazing out of the window yesterday, which was about as uplifting as peering into my own made-to-measure coffin, I was reminded of the meteorological musings of the Korean golfing great, Inbee Park, at a particularly grotty Women’s Open at Turnberry during another of Scotland’s so-called summers a few years ago. “You guys get a cold winter and a winter and that’s it,” she said of the pitiful seasonal situation.

The rest of the UK, of course, is not much better. The weather for the Senior Open at Royal Porthcawl over the weekend, for instance, was wonderfully horrendous. In fact, things looked so wild down on the south Wales coast, I was on the verge of tethering my TV with guy ropes as the shoogly, wind-ravaged footage being beamed back grew ever more chaotic. It made for quite thrilling viewing, mind you.

The sight, meanwhile, of a bedraggled Colin Montgomerie clumping around with the shoulders slumped at half-mast on his way to a ghastly 88 brought back memories of another monumental Monty moment at a tempestuous Scottish Open at Carnoustie many moons ago.

In truly desperate, gale-force conditions, a numbed Montgomerie sagged to a sobering 81. The grim battle with the ravaging elements was etched deeply on his face, which by this point was contorted like one of the gargoyles on Notre Dame cathedral, and the opening question from a media man did little to alter this tortured rictus. 

“Colin, was the wind a factor?,” he asked with innocent thoughtlessness. “Was the wind a factor?” Monty muttered to himself with whispering incredulity before the full, nuclear explosion kicked in. “WAS THE WIND A FACTOR?” he bawled repeatedly at an ear-shattering level that was 100 decibels above shrieking hysteria.

One presumes nobody asked him for a quick summing up after Sunday’s stormy shenanigans?

READ MORE: Colin Montgomerie still learning as he looks ahead to Senior Open

Talking of Monty, one area of the game that has always stuck in his craw – aside from reckless post-mortems by golf writers – is the issue of slow play. “It does my bloomin’ head in,” he said of this long-standing bugbear in a recent interview. 

One wonders what he would’ve made of affairs at the Evian Championship over the weekend when Spain’s Carlota Ciganda was disqualified after refusing to add a two-stroke penalty to her score for breaching pace of play guidelines and subsequently signed for the wrong total.

After all the on-going palaver involving LIV and the proposed alliance of the established tours and the Saudi Public Investment Fund which has consumed the game, the return of slow play to the agenda was almost something of a relief.

Having departed the women’s major, Ciganda then took to social media to plead her innocence while stating that the group behind her were not even on the tee so she wasn’t holding anybody up. I’m not sure that argument holds much water, though. Slow play is slow play. It doesn’t matter if there’s a queue forming or not.

Unfortunately for the talented Ciganda, she has a reputation for playing at a pace that tends to be so deliberate, you could just about carbon date the start of her backswing after a plethora of pre-shoot plooterings.

Ciganda claimed the LPGA Tour officials were only focussing their pace of play tasers on certain players. Fair enough, but when you’re something of a known offender, you can’t expect to operate under the radar. Ciganda has been slapped with punishments before. You’d think she’d learn a lesson.

Dishing out a two-stroke penalty – and strokes is hitting them where it hurts – in a major championship is significant. And doling it out to a LPGA Tour stalwart and Solheim Cup mainstay like Ciganda is significant too. It can be easy to pick on the lesser lights and the rank-and-file, or adopt more strident measures at, say, the top level of the amateur game. Taking a stance, however, on golf’s biggest stages and with the bigger names – and let’s not forget there are many miscreants on the men’s tours too - can only aid the pace of play cause.

I’m sure good old Monty would bellow in agreement.


Give peace a chance? Er, no chance. With the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and the Saudi Public Investment Fund working on a truce, it seems a new front has opened up. Just what golf needs, eh?

Jay Monahan, the PGA Tour commissioner, stated in a memo that the US circuit would fight proposals by the R&A and USGA to introduce a Model Local Rule (MLR) in 2026 which would regulate the type of ball used in elite competition in an effort to limit the distance said ba’ can be clattered.

The idea of the MLR has split opinion. Rory McIlroy, one of golf’s most important voices, is in favour of the roll back, as are the heid bummers at all-powerful Augusta National. Other big movers and shakers are not so keen. The embattled Monahan has only recently returned to work after retreating with a “medical condition” following the PGA Tour’s controversial announcement of a proposed alliance with the Saudis. He lost the trust of many players with that deal. Revealing his stance on the MLR, before the consultation period is even over, is an effort to buy him some time and goodwill. Good luck. He’ll need it.