Monty's marathon journey in vain
Whether Colin Montgomerie plays another major remains in doubt after an amazing 900-mile overnight drive failed to pay off on Monday.
Disgusted by a closing 81 in the BMW PGA Championship - it was his worst-ever score at Wentworth - the former Ryder Cup captain went all the way home to Perthshire to fetch a putter.
He then turned round and headed back to Surrey for the 36-hole US Open qualifier at Walton Heath, but after a promising start, missed out on the 11 spots up for grabs.
"Who in their right mind would do that? But yes, I did," Montgomerie said. "I left Wentworth at 2pm, was home at 8pm, had tea with the family, left at 11pm and got here just after 6am."
An opening four-under-par 68 put the 48-year-old Scot on course to play in San Francisco next month, but he followed it up with only a 72.
Last year was the first time since 1989 that Montgomerie did not appear in any of the four majors, but he will keep on trying. He is entered for the Open qualifier at Sunningdale on June 25.
Montgomerie missed out on a play-off by two strokes, so could look back on his pitch to the 17th hitting the flagstick and rebounding 15 feet away, then lipping out from the same distance on the last.
Current Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal also failed, in his case by three shots after rounds of 67 and 74.
"It's just a shame - I played really well this morning and gave myself a chance," he said.
Joint winners on nine under were Swede Alexander Noren, who defends the Wales Open at Celtic Manor later this week, and Scot Marc Warren, a former World Cup winner with Montgomerie who finally makes it into a major championship after nine attempts to qualify for The Open and three for the US Open.
"I wasn't sure whether I was going to play today," said the 31-year-old, "but the people around me told me to give it a rip and see what happens."
He needed something special after an opening 70 on the Old Course, but produced it with a seven under 65 on the shorter New.
Joint third on seven under were England's Lee Slattery, Dame Soren Kjeldsen, South African George Coetzee, Finn Mikko Ilonen and France's Gregory Bourdy.
Involved in a play-off for the remaining four places were Ireland's Peter Lawrie, who finished fourth at Wentworth, England's Matthew Baldwin, Frenchman Raphael Jacquelin and Korean Sihwan Kim.
Nineteen-year-old Italian Matteo Manassero was also in the play-off and he and Baldwin birdied the first to go through, then Jacquelin and Lawrie qualified on the second after Kim bogeyed.