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European Tour looking to end Montgomerie issue

The European Tour moved on Wednesday to finally end the long-running controversy over Colin Montgomerie's wrong replacement of his ball at the Indonesia Open.

The Tour's chief referee John Paramor decided not to take further action when it was shown on video that Montgomerie had played from the wrong place when he returned to the course the next day following a thunderstorm at the tournament in March.

The seven-times European number one failed to mark his ball before leaving the course, leaving it by a bunker.

It had gone when he returned so he played from where he estimated the ball had been.

Following complaints by players who saw television replays, Montgomerie agreed he had made an innocent mistake and awarded his winnings to the Tsunami Appeal.

That did not satisfy some of his colleagues and he was asked to explain further at a tour tournament players' committee meeting chaired by Jamie Spence.

Spence and the committee were satisfied the matter had been fully reviewed and no further action was necessary.

However, that was still not good enough for a small core of players who raised the matter again at Wednesday's meeting.

"I have great respect for Colin Montgomerie and it's time to draw a veil over all this," Spence said.

"One he should have marked his ball and two, if the referee at the time had had the same video evidence, then it might have been a different story.

"Those kicking up a fuss about Monty weren't even there and they were not thinking it through properly.

"The matter is over. Colin Montgomerie has been a great servant of the tour, great committee member and, over the years, terrific for our membership."

George O'Grady, executive director of the European Tour, issued a statement.

"We have some of the best field staff and rules staff in the world and when they make a considered judgement and explain it fully to the committee these decisions should not be questioned," it said.


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