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Hot on the heels of a weekend when only one Scot – amateur Sam Locke – made the cut at the Open, Colin Montgomerie has admitted that the home of golf is “going through a bit of a dip” right now.

Speaking ahead of this week’s Senior Open, taking place for the first time in the event’s history at St Andrews, Montgomerie said that the health of Scottish golf at the very top level of the game isn’t currently good enough.

“Russell Knox is doing great, don’t get me wrong, but we are going through a bit of a dip right now from the grand times of Lyle and Torrance and Brand, Jr., and I suppose adding myself to that towards the end,” said eight-time European No.1 Monty.

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“You can’t put your finger on it. England ten years ago had one person in the top 100 in the world, so you go through stages. Let’s hope it’s just a phase and we get out of it.

“We’ve got 538 odd courses here in Scotland. We’ve got the most per capita of anywhere in the world and so there’s opportunity there, and it’s cheap still in Scotland. It’s not expensive to play here. We should be producing more than we are.

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“I don’t know what we can do. We probably have to wait and see. There are so many youngsters coming through that we don’t know their names yet, and let’s hope there are.”

Monty added that we shouldn’t expect success simply because we are the country that created the game.

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“It’s not a given because you’re a top amateur or youth amateur or boys champion or whatever it might be in Scotland that it’s automatic to go through the ranks and to make it,” said Monty. “Very few make it, very few.

“This horrible world, being patient, youngsters want it now, which is understandable. A lot of pressure on them. Everybody sees the dollar signs nowadays and there’s not just them doing it. There’s others around the world. It’s more competitive now than it’s ever been.”


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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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