It hurts to write this, it really does. Having to criticise a former hero is unpleasant – and I really hope that Andy Murray one day makes an insightful and appropriate tennis pundit. But in light of his insufferably pompous ramblings during Sky Sports Ryder Cup coverage, Colin Montgomerie is fully deserving of an absolute skewering. A skewering similar, in fact, to the one Monty has meted out to Tiger Woods all day.
Monty’s problems are threefold: purveyor of the most egotistical wittering ever recorded in televisual history; talking pure, unadulterated tripe about golf; and a raging, unseemly vendetta against the golfer Monty must unquestionably wish he was: Tiger Woods.
In between his incessant harking back to Celtic Manor in 2010 (Monty was the captain then, for those who’ve been fortunate enough to tune into the three minutes of coverage that he hasn’t spent prattling on about it) Monty has spent the opening day lambasting Woods for his driving, his putting and his demeanour; everything short of his skin colour, in fact.
Woods was poor during the morning foursomes, but certainly no worse than Lee Westwood. Nevertheless, “hopeless, I’d have had the authority to drop him” was Monty’s definitive verdict on Tiger’s performance; yet the bold Scot was noticeably silent on Westwood’s – and indeed Sergio Garcia’s – similar travails.
However, even more irritating than his continual Tiger-bashing and hilariously partisan European cheerleading, has been Monty’s unconscious, unspoken belief that he is Samuel Ryder’s representative on earth. The doyen of all things Ryder Cup. A learned guru sent to us by the founding fathers of the game. Albeit, a sage who only learned the science of “momentum” from Sam Torrance in 2002.
These foibles might have been forgivable without Monty’s repeated use of the personal pronoun. As it is, the utterly condescending tone with which he refers to self and slaughters the best efforts of others, engenders an overwhelming desire for Sky to insert some variant of a Mute Monty option on the red button. Indeed, it becomes a blessed relief to enjoy Ewan Murray and Butch Harmon, with their balanced, sensible and self-aware commentary.
I’ve written this as a lifelong fan of Monty; a golf fan who was perilously close to emotional breakdown when Monty choked his elusive major title away at Winged Foot in 2006 but his commentary has been so tediously self-important, that it almost, almost, makes you want the USA to win the Ryder Cup.
The conclusion of the 2010 Ryder Cup was comfortably one of the greatest, most thrilling, sporting moments ever to grace British soil; Monty’s resultant self-exultation almost makes you wish that McDowell’s famous putt on the 16th had slithered past the hole.