Monty Thinks Rory Should Have Played More

Colin Montgomerie believes that newly crowned U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy may have made a mistake by taking a three-week vacation between the time of his resounding triumph last month at Congressional and next week's British Open.

After his surprisingly easy eight-shot Open win in which he set several all-time low-scoring marks, McIlroy decided to skip the BMW International in Germany, the Open de France and the Scottish Open, all European Tour events.

On Tuesday, Monty said that might not have been a good idea. "I can understand two out of three, but I would like to have seen him play a competitive tournament between the two majors," said Montgomerie, the captain of the victorious 2010 European Ryder Cup team on which McIlroy was a member.

"He's so natural I don't think there are any fears about his game, but it's the locker room - there are going to be so many people wanting to congratulate him.

"Whether it was the French or the Scottish Open he could have got that out of his system and out of the way so he can start the Open afresh. Now he's got that ahead of him and on the 1st tee I think he will be mentally tired - but who am I to say?"

Three-time major winner Padraig Harrington agreed. "When you've won and you go to your next tournament there are 155 other players and 155 other caddies who want to say, 'Well done.' "

Montgomerie, who's come close but has never won a major title, is still supportive of the 22-year-old from Northern Ireland and believes McIlroy will be a factor, long vacation or not. "I hope he does well - of course I do - and I think he will contend," Monty said.