Jul
16
2009
The Feud at Tunberry: Lyle Vs. Monty
By Stephanie Wei under General

Nothing like a little drama to go along with the British Open. Earlier this year, Colin Montgomerie was named captain of the European Ryder Cup Team over Sandy Lyle. Well, it appears Lyle is a tad bitter about it. Last week, it was reported that Lyle was asked if he thought quitting withdrawing when he was 11-over-par through ten holes from Royal Birkdale last year hurt his chances for being selected captain. Rather foolishly, he brought up the incident in 2005 at the Indonesia Open — Monty was accused of dropping the ball improperly and thereby breaking the rules. He was found innocent, but it clearly hasn’t been forgotten.

Lyle’s exact words were, “That is far worse than someone pulling out because of sore knuckles. You have Monty dropping the ball badly — that’s what you would call a form of cheating.”

Ouch. There’s nothing worse than being called a cheater. Especially when you’re a golfer.

In a press conference Tuesday, Lyle had prepared an apology. Subsequently, the press asked questions and it was a case of “foot in mouth.” In sum, he contradicted himself by saying Monty made a huge mistake that will haunt him for the rest of his life.

Oh boy, this is getting good! In so many words, Monty responded saying it wasn’t exactly the apology he was looking for but wasn’t going to let it bother him.

You would figure the two would have a little chat after the British Open and settle things. No such luck, thanks to Lyle. On the BBC radio after the first round, he called Monty a “drama queen”! No, seriously. Um, I reckon it’s the other way around.

This all seems rather childish to me – so much so that I can’t help but laugh or resist writing about it. Who said golf was boring?? While Lyle shouldn’t have made the allegations he did, it’s a hilarious back story. It adds a little flavor to the mix. So I’m kicking back with a bag of popcorn to watch this one unfold.

[Photo by Harry How & Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images]