Exclusive: European Ryder Cup legend says Rory McIlroy left 'with dignity' in US Open storm off

Former European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie has given GolfMagic his verdict on how Rory McIlroy behaved in the aftermath of his US Open defeat.

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Who knows what Rory McIlroy was thinking as Bryson DeChambeau ripped his heart out and stomped all over it to claim the US Open.

But it doesn't take a genius to suggest McIlroy's inner monologue was something like this: "For f--- sake, not again."

And one had to wonder what was going on between McIlroy's ears as he decided not to stay and congratulate the American. 

McIlroy tossed his clubs into the back of his courtesy vehicle within minutes of DeChambeau's winning putt dropping and was gone in a flash. 

Again, as the sound of the tyres screeched, you would also be forgiven for thinking that little voice in McIlroy's head was saying: "Screw staying behind to high-five Bryson.

"Screw the media, I already give enough and I do not care how this looks. Nobody can hate myself more than I do right now. 


There is one golfer who knows what McIlroy is going through. 

European Tour legend Colin Montgomerie has endured his fair share of major championship heartache.

And he always seemed destined to win the US Open. 

The championship demands precision off the tee with the need for a remarkable short game. 

Given Monty's propensity to find the short stuff, his accurate approach shots and deft touch around the greens, the US Open and the Scot seemed made for each other. 

But, alas, it never happened. 

We won't detail all of his devastating losses here, but suffice to say the now 60-year-old has taken his fair share of bullets.

GolfMagic's Johnny Percival caught up with Montgomerie 24 hours after the dust settled at Pinehurst No.2. 

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

"Golly, I feel for the guy," Montgomerie said of McIlroy. "You have to feel for him, don't you?

"The last four holes were a bit of a disaster for him in many ways. 

"If it wasn't for 17 - he got up and down -  he would have bogeyed the last four holes. 

"I think it was the putt on 16 to me, that was [him thinking this is] ten years since his last one.

"That was the putt for me that said it all."

A lot has been made of McIlroy's club choices over the closing holes. 

He pulled out a 7-iron at the par-3 15th and missed long. He was fortunate to escape with a bogey. 

Montgomerie concurred with Sir Nick Faldo that it was the wrong choice

McIlroy managed to find the fairway at the par-4 16th, held the green with his approach and then missed from inside three feet for his par. 

It was the first time this year he had missed from such a distance.

"He got a wee bit ahead of himself there," Montgomerie said. 

McIlroy pulled driver at the final hole which sent the aforementioned Faldo into a tailspin. 

"I don't think driver was the right club to play on 18 and that was proven," Montgomerie said. 

"The commentators were right there. [It was] the wrong club at 15 and the wrong club at 18 and it was a shame. Let's hope he can recover."

So what of McIlroy's actions after we saw the devastating look on his face in the scorer's hut?

According to other reports, the Netflix cameras wanted to follow McIlroy into the locker room before the USGA chairman, Mike Whan, intervened. 

Whan is said to have blasted rhetorically: "Do they need to be in there?"

Minutes later McIlroy was spotted with his manager and caddie Harry Diamond making an abrupt exit. 

"I think he left with some dignity to be honest," Montgomerie said. 

"He didn’t do anything [wrong]in the scorer's tent which is a difficult place to have cameras on you. 

"And he was just left thinking that Bryson wouldn’t get up and down from that bunker at the last, which was incredible. 

"He had the opportunity of coming out of that bunker and making six to be honest and giving it to Rory never mind a playoff, and he gets up and down, [it was] incredible."

Montgomerie added: "I just feel for him, I really do, I was sad going to bed last night I really was. 

"It was midnight and I was sad for him because I know him well and I have a lot of respect for the guy. 

"What he’s had to go through off the course with the PGA-LIV situation and off the course as well you know with his personal life and now he has this.

"My god, what a month he’s had."

Montgomerie was referencing McIlroy's marital issues with Erica Stoll. 

He abruptly filed for divorce hours after he won the Wells Fargo Championship. Court docs said their marriage was 'irretrievably broken'. 

Over the past few weeks there were unsubstantiated claims McIlroy was romantically involved with CBS reporter Amanda Balionis

Then another bombshell dropped when McIlroy confirmed before the US Open he had reconciled with Erica. 

Yesterday (Monday), McIlroy was snapped by the DailyMail with Erica and their three-year-old daughter Poppy. Both were wearing their wedding bands. 

"Let's hope he can come back," Montgomerie said. 

But he fears Faldo might be right. The six-time major champion warned McIlroy will be scarred for life. 

"It was a Doug Sanders moment I’m afraid," Montgomerie said, referring to the American's missed putt at the 1970 Open Championship.

"The putt you know, it was a very difficult putt don't get me wrong, left to right, it swung a little bit more than he thought it was going to. 

"But it wasn't a confident stroke you know."

"It'll be one of the greatest achievements"

McIlroy has stated he will take a three-week break from golf before returning to action. 

First, he'll attempt to defend the Scottish Open before heading to Royal Troon for the 152nd Open

How does Montgomerie rate his chances?

"I can't see it being him," he said. "To be honest, how does he win?!

"If he does, it'll be one of the greatest achievements for a long, long time to come back from what he'd been through at Pinehurst.

"That'll be some story."

Colin Montgomerie
Colin Montgomerie

Montgomerie spoke to GolfMagic as part of his work with Loch Lomond Whisky.

Loch Lomond Whisky is the official spirit of The Open.

And Montgomerie has collaborated with the brand to create The Open Special Edition.

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