BROOKLINE, Mass. -- A couple of years ago, Colin Montgomerie of Scotland contemplated moving to the United States and joining the PGA Tour.
Good thing he decided to stay put. American fans, who've had a long-standing loathe-hate relationship with Montgomerie, might actually have grown to like the guy. Instead, they continue to verbally abuse him every chance they get.
The latest opportunity came here at The Country Club in the 33rd Ryder Cup.
On Saturday, someone flashed a camera just as Montgomerie was going to putt. Yesterday, he was constantly heckled to the point that the American he was playing, reigning U.S. Open champion Payne Stewart, got fed up.
"I, too, was disgusted with some of the actions and some of the name-calling and the heckling that goes on with Colin," Stewart said after losing, 1-up, to Montgomerie.
"He doesn't deserve it. That's not what this event's about. I don't know if he's got a big bull's-eye on his back or what it is, but it's not fair. We had a couple of people removed from the gallery."
Said Montgomerie: "I use it now as a motivating factor. I treat it as a compliment because I must be good at this game. It does motivate me to perform. I want to try and win. I have a lot of ambition in me, and that tends to bring it out in me."
A perennial bridesmaid at both the U.S. Open and PGA Championship, Montgomerie is quietly becoming one of the best Ryder Cup players in European history. He won 3 1/2 points this year, and his overall record in 12-6-4 in five competitions, including 3-0-2 in singles.
Lost and found
While it didn't impact his 3-and-2 defeat by Tiger Woods, Andrew Coltart of Scotland was a bit perturbed about how his slightly errant tee shot on the par-5 ninth hole couldn't be found within the allotted five-minute time period. Coltart had to go back to the tee and hit again. The ball was eventually found in the rough, no more than a yard from the fairway.
"It was pulled left. I wasn't too disappointed with it," Coltart recalled. "To come down and to find everybody shouting and saying it was in the trees was a bit of a surprise. It didn't have a huge bearing on the game. At that stage, he was 2-up. Who knows? The game certainly might have gone down to the 17th or 18th hole."
Coltart was one of the three European rookies who did not play until yesterday. Jarmo Sandelin of Sweden was beaten by Phil Mickelson, 4-and-3, while Jean Van de Velde -- he of the historic British Open collapse this year -- lost to Davis Love, 6-and-5.