The Open - Monty still aiming for Open spot
Colin Montgomerie heads to this week's Scottish Open for his "last throw of the dice" as he bids to qualify for a 22nd consecutive Open.
To book a place at next week's major at Royal St George's, the 48-year-old Briton has to be best-placed of the top five finishers at Castle Stuart on Sunday not exempt.
Montgomerie has not given up on the prospect of producing a British Open performance similar to those of Greg Norman in 2008 at Royal Birkdale and Tom Watson's epic bid at Turnberry in 2009 but acknowledges the odds are stacked against him.
"It's the last throw of the dice here," Montgomerie told reporters on Wednesday, the day before tackling the Scottish Open. "For 21 years I've played in the Open, so I'd like not to have that record broken.
"It's going to be difficult, very difficult but I've got a good draw with Luke Donald and Peter Hanson, two of my Ryder Cup team, hopefully they can pull me along.
"If I can qualify I would go down there having a shot on a fast-running course like Royal St George's. At 48 that gives me my best opportunity."
Montgomerie has climbed to 285th in the world rankings, largely through a seventh-place in Europe's flagship PGA championship in May, having slumped to 420th during his two years as Ryder Cup captain.
The eight-times European number one still harbours hopes of getting into the world's top 50 to make qualifying for majors less of a trial.
"I started my term as Ryder Cup captain at 47 in the world and finished it outside the top 400. That shows what it did to my career," said Montgomerie, who led Europe to victory in last year's edition.
"The goal I have now is to get back into the top 50. I don't think that is unrealistic."