The relationship between Colin Montgomerie and Thomas Bjorn has often been frosty but Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup captain is hoping Bjorn will warm to the notion of allowing fellow Leeds United fan, Dominic Bott help him qualify for the U.S. Open.
Monty, along with seven other former Ryder Cup stars, will be among those teeing-up in tomorrow’s (Monday) U.S. Open 36-hole qualifier at Walton Heath.
Monty’s a three times runner-up in the U.S. Open and will be striving for a 17th appearance in the Major commencing June 16th at Congressional in Maryland.
But whether or not he qualifies could depend on Bjorn.
Bjorn is returning to competition this week at Celtic Manor after missing the BMW PGA Championship due to the death of his father.
Bjorn has asked Bott to be a Celtic Manor on Monday for a practice round ahead of this week’s Saab Wales Open.
Bott caddied for Monty at Wentworth and has been so impressed by his skill, he’s hoping Bjorn will allow him to caddy for him at Walton Heath.
“Dominic’s a good caddy and I want him with me at Walton Heath,” said Monty.
“It would be difficult to start with someone new on a course I don’t know that well.
“Dominic also supports Leeds, so we just talk about how good they are or really how gooe they were.
“I just hope Thomas has a day off on Monday so I can use him.”
And Monty’s revealed he’s received close to 50 approaches for a new caddy including a laywer and also a London doctor after splitting with Jason Hempleman.
That’s half the number World No. 3 Martin Kaymer’s had since sacking Glaswegian Craig Connolly with the German revealing he’s got nearly 100 offers.
“I’ve had about half as many approaches as Martin has and that’s not bad when you’re about 460th in the world,” said Monty.
“I’ve ever had lawyers and a dentist here in England applying.
“I suppose people see the opportunity of doing quite well financially.
“Maybe they’ve become a bit stale at their own jobs and they think this will be a bit different.
“But then maybe I’ll take a violin and pull a trolley, and people might feel sorry for me.”
Joining Monty will be former Ryder Cup players Paul Broadhurst, Ross Fisher, David Howell, Thomas Levet, Jarmo Sandelin and Niclas Fasth.
Fisher has played in the last three Ryder Cup’s and at 53rd in the world, is the highest world ranked player heading to Walton Heath.
However Fisher can avoid qualifying if he finishes high enough in the BMW PGA Championship to break back into the top-50.
He kept that goal in sight with a third round total of level par and just five off the lead at Wentworth.
England’s Oliver Wilson, and a member of the 2008 European Team, was entered in the field but withdrew after scores of 77 and 74 in the BMW PGA Championship.
Also withdrawing was Ireland’s Peter Lawrie, whose wife is expecting the couple’s fourth child.
A total of 103 players registered for the qualifier but when entries closed at noon on Saturday that number was down to 87 players.