Monty aims to skin 'em

IAN HUTCHINSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:34 AM ET

Colin Montgomerie missed the weekend nastiness at the Oakmonster, so he should be a little more refreshed than the two who did make it before heading to Collingwood for the Telus World Skins, starting today at Raven at Lora Bay.

"Of all the places that I've visited worldwide, I've never been to Canada," Montgomerie said. "It's a place I've always wanted to go and never found the right occasion to do so, unfortunately. This opportunity arose and I jumped at it."

Apparently, there are many Canadians ready to welcome Montgomerie. The Dam Pub in nearby Thornbury, for example, has unofficially declared itself official Monty headquarters.

"I hope to pay them a visit," said Montgomerie, apparently ready to shake the dour image that has followed him throughout his career. "A lot of Scots emigrated to Canada after the war, so hopefully, I will have as much support as (Canadian) Stephen Ames."

John Daly, who didn't play in the U.S. Open, also will get a lot of support as he rounds out the field with Retief Goosen, who also missed the cut, and Geoff Ogilvy. For the record, Ames claimed that Montgomerie is the favourite to win.

"He's dead right. I agree with him," Montgomerie said jokingly, displaying the sense of humour needed for this friendly. "I do enjoy this format. It's very relaxed."

The only thing that could ruin the visit for Monty, who won a similar Skins event in 2000, is leaving putts short. "Especially in a Skins Game, you don't have that many opportunities, so when one does arise, you have to take advantage of it. If I get inside the guys, I'll be the last to putt, so let's hope I can finish it off."

THE SEARCH CONTINUES

This much is certain in the hunt for the new executive director of the Royal Canadian Golf Association -- it's getting down to the short strokes.

The RCGA was expecting a commitment on Friday from a leading candidate for the position vacated by Stephen Ross in March. The RCGA would then proceed with negotiations in regards to salary, etc., which is hardly a slam-dunk in such matters.

Assuming negotiations go smoothly, it will still be a couple of weeks before an official announcement is made as the new person takes care of matters at his/her old job. At the earliest, an announcement might be made the first week of July, which leaves some time before the Canadian Open.

So, who is it? Speculation has the new person being a Canadian currently living in the United States and no, we're not talking Mike Weir.

That could mean Peter Broome, originally from Montreal and now based in Fairhaven, Mass., where he serves as vice-president of business development and partnerships for Acushnet, which includes Titleist, Cobra, FootJoy and Pinnacle brands.

Broome works closely with the PGA of America and is well thought-of inside and outside the company. Some call him the king of shmooze, which is a good thing in an association seeking a title sponsor for the Open. How good Broome's contacts are with corporations outside of golf remains to be seen.

While Broome's name pops up most often in speculation, Jim McLaughlin's name is often mentioned, as well. McLaughlin, a Vancouver native, is currently vice-president of operations for Troon Golf, a high-profile course management, development and marketing company based in Scottsdale, Ariz.

There are plenty of other wayward Canadians based in the U.S., so these names are merely speculation. About the only thing known for sure is that we will hear the final pick in a couple of weeks.

INTERNATIONAL INTRIGUE

Laura Matthews of Essex and Barrie's Stephanie Sherlock will represent Canada on the women's side of this week's Copa De Las Americas at Aurora's Beacon Hall Golf Club, which concludes Saturday.

The tournament will feature teams from 18 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Canada took the overall team title in 2003 and 2005. Kevin Fortin-Simard of Roberval, Que., and Kris Wasylowich of Lethbridge, Alta., will play on the Canadian men's team.


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