Whatever you may or may not think about Colin Montgomerie you have to admit that he is no quitter.
Next Monday Monty will be one of 96 competitors duelling at Sunningdale for 12 places available for The Open. At 49 and despite mostly playing like a drain he will be driving down from Scotland to try to clinch one of those places at Lytham next month.
One wonders why he bothers but at the same time one has to admire his spirit and continuing self-belief. Or maybe he’s seen a tape of his abilities as a commentator and realised that maybe his future does not lie in a television studio. Or am I being harsh?
What is beyond dispute is that these final qualifiers offer an interesting sub-plot to the big Open story. Staged in Africa, America, Australasia, Asia and now Europe it is the R&A’s commendable attempt to make The Open just that… open to everyone with the game and handicap to enter.
Before these qualifiers there were many players who could not afford either the money or the time to travel to Britain on the off chance of qualifying and what it now means is that the Championships of this country and the United States are the true world championships, democratic global affairs. Compared to the two Opens, the Masters is a restricted club championship while the USPGA is simply too professional. If you get my drift.
So Monty will be playing 36 holes at the old Berkshire classic next week, still chasing his oldest dream. I wish him great good luck.