A collective sigh was let out this morning as five million Scots woke up to the reality that Colin Montgomerie has missed the cut at the 136th Open Championship. The 44-year-old battled manfully over the closing holes to try and make it to the weekend, but it was to no avail. He missed out by one agonising shot.

The cut line had been hovering at four over for most of the day and when Montgomerie fell to six over through 13 all looked to be lost. But he very nearly pitched in for eagle on the 14th then ground out four pars to finish. Coming down the last he needed a birdie to be safe. A majestic three wood to 15 feet set up the chance but he just failed to convert. The crowd groaned.

It still looked as if there was a chance. With a number of players out on the course the smart money was on the cut drifting to five over. But, there was to be more disappointment for Monty and his legions of fans. The top 70 and ties make the cut and Monty?s position was getting ever nearer to that magical 70th as the sun dropped lower in the sky. But as the final putt dropped the men at five over lay in 71st: Just one man shy. Cue more wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Also on five over and probably suffering even more than Monty this morning is Paul Lawrie. The Aberdonian looked safe as he stood in the middle of the 18th fairway at three over. But, perhaps with the memory of Jean Van de Velde darting across his mind, he pulled his second shot left and out of bounds. He ended up making a double bogey six and also missing the cut by one.

Thankfully all is not lost for the Scottish fans. Glasgow?s Alistair Forsyth performed exceptionally solidly over the first two rounds and sits in a tie for seventh at one under par. Yesterday the 31-year-old gritted out a level par 71 to accompany Thursday?s 70. Two similar rounds and Forsyth should finish in the top five at least. There?ll be large galleries following Alastair today as Monty?s fans transfer their allegiance.

Ross Bain has also made the cut. The Asian Tour player is in a tie for 31st on two over par. Bain was one of the very few players who made a birdie three at the last yesterday. He may be a relative unknown, even in his home country, but he?ll receive great support over the weekend.

The last Scot to make the cut was 1985 Champion Sandy Lyle. Despite making three bogeys in the last four holes he snuck in at four over. If he?d bogeyed the 16th as well he?d still have qualified but he would also have let in Monty and Lawrie. I wish he?d known. He could have taken a hit for the team.

Monty and Lawrie are in illustrious company as a number of big stars will not be at Carnoustie over the weekend. Henrik Stenson, Phil Mickelson, David Toms, Stuart Appleby, Benn Barham and Tony Jacklin all missed the halfway cut.