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Mont Vert

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Technology can discombobulate. There were real concerns that the passengers of the early steam train journeys would be so unnerved by the motion that their heads would explode. When the Lumiere brothers showed the first moving images in a Parisian cinema the audience were so terrified they stampeded out onto the street.

I wonder if the elders at Sky Sports considered these dangers when they decided not only to premiere their 3-D Masters coverage but also to roll out the powerful sexual entity that is Colin Montgomerie. Not literally roll out, although that would be an operation rendered facile by the epic undulations on the Augusta course. It’s these vast green slopes that Montgomerie seems completely fixated on and are of course only revealed in their proper glory in the 3-D format.

Montgomerie himself has a mesmeric quality. It’s mainly his chops, which have the same elastic potential as a Creature Comforts tortoise. It’s also what comes out of his mouth: the strange burbles, whispery coughs, the giggles at nothing, and the odd mid-sentence boggle in which the same word will be repeated three or four times like a skipping CD. It’s like he’s become lost in his own huge jowls. 3-D jowls. There’s a head-exploding thought.

 

Written by harrisharrison

April 10, 2011 at 5:49 pm

Colin Montgomerie’s Face

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Colin Montgomerie is a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a sturdy Gore-tex windcheater. For the large part of his career he has been perceived as just a big angry pair of tits who is a bit good at golf. The butt of a thousand ribald jokes on They Think It’s All Over. The Pringle-clad personification of a harrumph. A man who has systematically ticked off the major section of the golfing fraternity including future members of his European team, vice-captains and fans.

But now everybody loves Colin. Even before the Europeans won. Maybe we appreciated his serious-minded approach. Perhaps it’s the likeness to a haughty cartoon owl with dentures. Or the confounding array of pensive facial expressions. If they ever make a Montgomerie biopic, which they surely will now, then the Creature Comforts artists should be called for. Plasticene is the only substance known to man that could do justice to the extraordinary malleability of the Monty visage. Here’s to you and your face Colin.

 

 

 

Written by harrisharrison

October 15, 2010 at 8:36 pm

The Sport New

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I really don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow at Centurion. I know about Australia. I just don’t know about England any more. I thought I did back in September and was able to write snurdy little posts about it. But know all I now is that Stuart Broad’s bum hurts and that Ryan Sidebottom is looking increasingly like the third Hairy Biker.

Owais Shah seems to personify England at the moment. Fragile in confidence, jittery at the crease, rubbish in the field, but capable lately of confounding us all with the odd moment of virtuosity. It’s all a bit strange.

Talking of wierd, the Dunhill Links Championship is started up in Fife today. It’s a pro-celebrity tournament, but you won’t spot any Tarbies or Wogans on the fairways. Think more randomly. Like Marco Van Basten. Or Kelly Slater. Or Greg Kinnear. And Huey Lewis. He’s from Huey Lewis and the News. I don’t know if one of his New has flown across to cheer him on.

My favourite partnership is most certainly that of Colin Montgomerie and Tim Henman, two sporting nearly men who have made a career of blowing it. Jimmy White is caddying apparently. 

They’re not going to win. That much I do know.

When Sport Gets Dumped On

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Having been subjected to attack from what one might suggest was friendly fire, it has been a torrid old week for some of our more venerable sporting institutions. First Chris Gayle smacks test cricket for  six over its head by confessing that he wouldn’t be so sad if it died out. And then Rory McIlroy delivered a fearful whack to the Ryder Cup, arguing that it’s just an exhibition and ‘not that important to me’. I shouldn’t be surprised to read in my paper tomorrow that Sir Steve Redgrave has claimed that Olympic gold medals are ‘not all that’ or Sir Alex has revealed his true feelings by taking a crap in the European Cup.

McIlroy’s outburst can probably be attributed to adolescent recalcitrance. He is only twelve after all. His captain and playing partner today Colin Montgomerie probably took this into consideration when he politely asked the press not to make a war between him and the younger man (although in truth it’s something we’d probably all like to see: the young scrapper against the sheer bulk of the Scot).

Gayle claims he was misrepresented. You can judge for yourself by listening to the audioclip here. The strange thing about this interview is that it sounds as if Gayle and the female journalist are on a date. Gayle comes across slightly coy and flirty and definitely a bit pissed. It would certainly explain why his defensive technique deserted him on this occasion.

Test cricket had an immediate opportunity to stand up for itself and say ‘now listen here my good man’ at Chester-le-Street today on the first day of the Second Test. Unfortunately, on a play-doh pitch in front of a soupcon of spectators, it was more: ‘actually Chris maybe you’ve got a point.’

In fact, perversely, the most interesting section of play was when Gayle brought himself  onto bowl early against Andrew Strauss, the self-appointed champion of the test game. It was like he was countering his own argument.

The debate continues tomorrow.

It’s Fun Being Fergie

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So Colin Montgomerie is seeking the counsel of Sir Alex Ferguson in preparation for his leadership of the 2010 Ryder Cup team. The prospect of  Monty assuming Fergusonian management techniques in South Wales is a fascinating one. One wonders how much of Sir Alex’s advice the portly Scot will take to heart, but there are several intriguing scenarios:

1. The referees

John Paramore, you have been warned: there are no technical areas on the fairways. There is no fourth official to divert the wrath of Colin against the chief referee of the European tour and his hardy crew of officials. If Ferguson’s vituperative attitude towards the ref is replicated by Montgomerie on the golf course then we could find ourselves in an unpleasant situation. A red-faced Monty, jabbing an accusing finger into a disbelieving referee, while being forcibly restrained by a couple of stewards. All for a minor disagreement over the invocation of rule 18-6 (ball at rest moved in measuring).

And think of the final fourballs on the Saturday afternoon. Donald rolls in a four-footer at the last to halve his match with Casey against Mickelson and Kim. Handshakes all round and off to the bar. But no. In front of a baying crowd, Monty is pointing at his watch, eyeing down the referee. And we’re back off to the first tee to see if we can get Europe that point.

2. The Americans

Sir Alex is notorious for winding up his opponents with his wily mind games. Wenger, Mourinho, most recently Benitez and most hilariously little Kevin Keegan.

Monty’s opposite number Corey Pavin is a character who will not shrink away from a scrap. This a man who donned a Desert Storm army cap during ‘The War on the Shore’ Ryder Cup at Kiawah Island in 1991. What a prick.

So let’s hope that Montgomerie can get under Pavin’s skin, maybe by questioning the professionalism of some of his American team: “When you do things like that about a man like Jim Furyk, I tell you what, I would LOVE it if we beat them in September”.

In truth Monty has form in this particular regard: maybe he could teach Ferguson a thing or two. He suggested that Brad Faxon may not be at the peak of his mental game in the run up to the 1997 Ryder Cup because he was in the middle of sticky divorce proceedings. It didn’t go down too well over the pond.

3. The Europeans

So Justin Rose takes Rory McIroy out for a night in downtown Newport the week before festivities: booze, drugs, strippers, a half-arsed orgy back at the hotel suite. Cue Monty. He is furious. The curly whippersnapper is hauled out by his ear and Rose is dropped from the team, banished to an South American satellite tour. Only to resurface on Celebrity Love Island reluctantly cavorting with Abi Titmuss.

And woe betide anyone who should three-stab on the 17th green to hand the Americans a vital point. Because Monty will be aiming a size 11 Footjoy straight for your forehead. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for the telltale studmarks on Robert Karlsson’s large Swedish noggin.

4. The press

And more particularly the BBC. Ferguson’s relationship with the Beeb disintegrated into nothing following a documentary shown on the channel about his son Jason. So what can we expect if Sir Alex’s mistrust has polluted the Monty view?

A vice-captain, lets say Paul Broadhurst, is pushed forward to take all press conferencs? A broadside is aimed at Peter Alliss, the commentator dismissed as “arrogant beyond belief”? Or even a shove in Hazel Irvine’s face as she proffers a hopeful microphone?

We can but dream…

The Curious Case of Rory McIlroy

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I’m seeing a lot of posters and adverts at the minute for a film called The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Apparently it stars Brad Pitt as the titular hero born as an old man who then ages backwards. His poor mother. I can’t imagine what her pregnancy was like, carrying around a well-built Hollywood actor around for nine months. Not to mention the wince-inducing labour (I’m not sure if this scene has been omitted from the film on grounds of decency). On the face of it this seems like a silly premise, but I am vaguely sure that a similar phenomenon is happening in the world of golf.

Rory McIlroy appeared from nowhere in 2007 to pick up the Silver Medal as the leading amateur in The Open Championship at Carnoustie. He was 17.

The Belfast Child

Rory McIroy: The Belfast Child

And today, as he leads going into the final nine holes of the Dubai Desert Classic, I am convinced that he is actually getting younger. Those little apple cheeks are even rosier than before with not the faintest hint of a whisker. The gait has even more bounce. And the hair. It spills from under his baseball cap with the lustrous abandon of youth. I half expect an enthusiastic mother to bound onto the fairway to wipe his snotty nose.

Beneath the boyish exterior is a steely confidence that is attributed by most to the fearlessness of youth. But if you subscribe to the Button theory it is a conviction forged during decades of high-level play in the amateur game.

And where was the young McIlroy born? Hollywood. Well, Hollywood in Northern Ireland. But close enough to rest my case.

Unfortunately all this means that young Master McIlroy has hit the professional ranks too late to make much of an impact. For it won’t too long before he starts to shrink and he’ll have to use clubs with the shafts cut down by his grandad. His short game may survive but the his driving and iron distance will diminish to such an extent he simply will not be able to compete with the big boys.

But he may stay old enough to make it into the 2010 Ryder Cup team at Celtic Manor. And it seems appropriate that Colin Montgomerie, a man who famously resembles Mrs Doubtfire, will be there to nanny him through it.

Written by harrisharrison

February 1, 2009 at 10:54 am

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