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Pity I had no emotional Open send-off, says Montgomerie

Golf-British Open - Scotland's Colin Montgomerie plays his approach on the second hole during the first round - Royal Troon, Scotland, Britain - 14/07/2016. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne
Golf-British Open - Scotland's Colin Montgomerie plays his approach on the second hole during the first round - Royal Troon, Scotland, Britain - 14/07/2016. REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

By Tony Jimenez

TROON, Scotland (Reuters) - Colin Montgomerie made his 22nd, and probably final, appearance at the British Open on Sunday but the European Tour great was denied the emotional farewell given to Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson in recent years.

The 53-year-old Montgomerie, who occupied the last spot in the field at the start of the fourth round, was accompanied by a marker when he teed off at 0740 local time in the opening match of the day.

A closing five-over-par 76 gave the eight-times European number one a 17-over aggregate of 301 and Royal Troon member Montgomerie said it was "a shame" the grandstands were quiet when he walked off the 18th green.

"It was a pity," the veteran Scot told reporters. "I'd have loved to be in the middle of the pack where the stands are beginning to become full...that would have been more emotional.

"You've got to be realistic and think it might well be the last time I'm here at an Open."

Montgomerie, though, was pleased to have achieved his ambition by making the cut.

"The goal at the start of the week was to play on Sunday," said the former world number two who is now a regular on the senior circuit. "Anything beyond that was a bonus.

"When I saw the course in practice, how long it was playing, it really took it out of my hands. I needed it to be running like Turnberry or Hoylake," added Montgomerie of the parched fairways of 2009 and 2006.

Europe's triumphant 2010 Ryder Cup captain said he was full of admiration for the fans who turned up at Troon this week in spite of receiving a buffeting from the rain and 25mph winds.

"The spectators here, they've battled way, way hard," added Montgomerie. "It's 80 pounds ($105) to get in, it's not cheap.

"They've done well to come in and battle hard knowing the conditions are going to be difficult. Pars here are good, it's tough, very, very tough."

($1 = 0.7583 pounds)

(Editing by Toby Davis)

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