James Corrigan: Henman's fist pump brings out Monty's major flaw

View From The Sofa: Dunhill Links Championship, Sky Sports

Tim Henman knew what Colin Montgomerie was doing wrong in his opening 73. "He was the only pro whose ball was bobbling up and down on the greens," so the former British No 1 player who never quite won a Grand Slam told Tony Johnstone.

The Zimbabwe professional, working for Sky Sports last week, fully agreed and surmised that perhaps the former British No 1 golfer, who never quite won a major, needed less loft on his putter face. Sat next to Johnstone, Richard Boxall sounded concerned. "Henman didn't tell Monty that did he?" he asked. With that, silence fell over the Sky commentary booth as they envisaged the devastation if Tiger Tim had indeed passed on to Mongoose Monty a golfing tip, as three-putt followed three-putt.

Ever seen Kill Bill? Just substitute the samurai sword for a four-iron. But on no account imagine Monty in Uma Thurman's yellow jumpsuit.

Fortunately, Henman is not that stupid or brave and kept his own counsel as far as anything to do with his partner's game was concerned. Not that he wasn't qualified to pass judgement. One newspaper reported that in the first round of the Dunhill Links around Carnoustie, Henman outscored Montgomerie by six strokes. Granted, the forward tees the amateur tees used did make the beast of Angus around 600 yards shorter. But six strokes?

Henman is no hacker. In fact, since his retirement he probably has more time to play golf than Montgomerie, who seemingly spends every weekend at home. A member at Sunningdale, Henman plays off scratch and takes it very, very seriously. As Johnstone said, it is possible to recognise a keen amateur if they are prepared to fly up their own caddie to Scotland. With the airlines now charging exorbitant rates, most of us cannot be bothered to fly up our own clubs.

It proved well worth the expense, however, as Henman was the non-paid star of the opening two days of this glorified pro-am, which allows us the privilege of checking out the swings of Hugh Grant and Huey Lewis on an annual basis. Well, Henman was actually the non-paid star who was televised. The incredible one-legged Manuel de los Santos would obviously have overshadowed everybody, but apart from the occasional fleeting glimpse, Sky chose to cover the A-Listers on the first few days. (Incidentally, if you still haven't seen De los Santos hit a golf ball call it up on YouTube. It will make you feel yet more ashamed of your duck-hook.)

So step forward Tim and step backward Colin. There wasn't a Sampras in sight and nothing was stopping him.

His highlight came on Friday on the penultimate hole at St Andrews. Henman birdied the most feared hole in golf, going straight for the pin and rolling in the seven-footer. His little fist pump brought back a few memories, as did the wild, but refined applause on the little hill behind the green. Sir Matthew Pinsent, also in the fourball, ran up and hugged Henman and there was euphoria all round. What Fred Perry would have made of it, one could only wonder.

But hang about, where was Monty in these celebrations? Wouldn't it have made Henman's career golfing moment that bit more special if the eight-time Europe No 1 had been there to hold him aloft? Monty was out of the picture. He had just double-bogeyed the hole and cannot have been in any mood to high-five an amateur who was making him look stupid. They don't call him golf's finest team player for nothing, you know.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

How to find gold

Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

Not born in the USA

Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
10 best balsamic vinegars

10 best balsamic vinegars

Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
Wimbledon 2015: Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Brief glimpses of the old Venus but Williams sisters' epic wars belong to history

Serena dispatched her elder sister 6-4, 6-3 in eight minutes more than an hour
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy