There were times, particularly during his all-conquering pomp, when Tiger Woods’s press conferences could be so robotically monotonous, you just about expected his face to malfunction, drop off and reveal an elaborate set of circuit boards, wires and flashing LEDs.

“Tiger went through a period when he said nothing and he was so diplomatic it was just about a waste of time,” suggested Colin Montgomerie, the expansive Scot who has always been so quotable, even his grumpy silences would speak volumes.

As for open, honest Rory McIlroy? Well, he’s always been up Monty’s street. “Rory speaks his mind and you know you will get honesty, which is lovely in this day and age,” said Montgomerie.

Never one to dish out stodgy sound bites, prosaic ponderings or pointless platitudes, McIlroy caused something off a stir recently when he suggested certain course set-ups on the European Tour were too easy.

Glasgow Times:

That observation came on the back of him posting a 15-under total at the Dunhill Links Championship and finishing 30th. His 13-under tally at the Scottish Open, meanwhile, left him down in 34th.

That particular event was held for the first time at The Renaissance and on a rain-softened course, allied to the fact there was no wind for the entire four days, the East Lothian links was as defenceless as a newborn foal in a lion’s enclosure.

The widespread harrumphing from some of the world’s leading golfers about the lack of a test ahead of The Open itself was not what you’d call wonderful PR.

There was no doubt that damage had been done to The Renaissance’s reputation. How that will affect the 2020 Scottish Open, which prides itself on attracting a world-class field in that much-sought-after pre-Open slot in the schedule, remains to be seen.

“We have to be careful,” said Montgomerie, who won what was effectively the Scottish Open – it was known the Standard Life Loch Lomond event – back in 1999.

“Yes, The Renaissance was new, it was modern and the weather was, unfortunately, kind but it just wasn’t the test they were expecting.

“The tour will have to do something (next year) when it’s back there not just because of what Rory said but because there were a number of players at The Renaissance saying it wasn’t what they wanted.

“And it wasn’t just as a warm-up for The Open, it was for the Scottish Open. It should stand on its own two feet. It’s big. In my day it was second to the Open, it really was.

“For me, Wentworth (the PGA Championship) and the Scottish Open were next after The Open. We were very lucky that we played the Scottish Open at Gleneagles and then we had the Loch Lomond years.

“But now we have this links (rotation) and, unfortunately, the course wasn’t set up tough enough. It will be next year. It will have to be.”

Glasgow Times:

Swiftly moving on and Montgomerie, like many, has been impressed by the strides made by Oban rookie Robert MacIntyre on the European Tour.

Thirty years ago this week, Montgomerie won his first tour title in the 1989 Portuguese Open by 11 shots.

MacIntyre, with three runners-up finishes this season, is still knocking on the door but Monty is well aware that the golfing gods don’t dish out prizes and plaudits willy-nilly.

“The first round after I won in Portugal was in the Volvo Masters the next week and I shot an 81,” he recalled of that hefty bump back to earth.

“I was like, ‘Christ, that’s a body blow’. You think you have it sussed and then, bang, 81. You realise golf can bite you everywhere.

“I am still looking for that something. Here’s me at 56 and 30 years after that first win and you think ‘surely he must know what’s he doing by now’. But you’re 95% there but never 100%. No-one has ever mastered this game. And no-one ever will.”