This year's HSBC World Matchplay Championship is not a star-studded event.

Of big names there are very few at Wentworth this week and now there's one fewer. Local favourite Colin Montgomerie fell at the first fence.

After leading by three holes at lunch yesterday, the great Ryder Cup stalwart, who regards the West Course as his personal playground, was beaten 2&1 by the little known Australian, Mark Hensby.

Even Hensby seemed surprised. "I'd never played Colin before," he said. "When I went for dinner in the clubhouse I saw his name on just about every honours board and then it hit me - he's a hell of a player and especially around here."

In the morning, Hensby learned at first hand just why Montgomerie is a hell of a player. The Scot finished eagle, birdie on the closing par-5s and was four under par overall.

"And I played very poorly in the morning," said Hensby. "But I hung on."

The hanging-on process was greatly aided by Montgomerie's dismal restart. Three bogeys in the first five holes was no endorsement of his affection for Wentworth.

Hensby won three holes with pars to get level and he went in front at the tenth after hitting a 6-iron to 5ft and holing the putt. That was a crucial hole and so was the 15th where Hensby got up and down for the par that preserved his lead. Birdies at the 16th and the 17th saw him home.

"I just didn't want to give him a break," he said of his determined golf.

Hensby, Melbourne-born but an American citizen for the past 11 years, holds a remarkable place in the game in that he is far less famous than his caddy. Fanny Suneson is now on his bag and he is relishing her help.

"She's a great caddy and a really good person," he said. "She says the right things at the right time."

This morning Hensby will rely heavily on her experience again. He plays the tournament favourite, Retief Goosen, and he appreciates the size of the task. "But I play well, I'll give him a game."

"I didn't win a hole," was Montgomerie's lament on his afternoon round. "I rimmed the hole a lot of times but I didn't win one and in those circumstances, you probably don't deserve to win."

The Scot reflected on his fortunes since the Open Championship and his attack on the order of merit and said: "Unfortunately, I took two weeks off after the Open and then I came back from the Johnny Walker, that floored me and I took three weeks off and I haven't really got back into things since.

"Since the Open there haven't been the performances I've been looking for. Only one top ten and that has been disappointing, to be honest.

"Never mind. We'll get back into it."

These are tough times for Thomas Bjorn: so many of his tournaments, ever since the catastrophic events at Royal St George's three years ago, blow up in his face and it was the case again yesterday when Paul McGinley beat him 6&5.

Now McGinley is a renowned fighter; he never knows when he is beaten and he did throw something of a hand grenade at Bjorn when he holed his second shot to the 11th yesterday.

But Bjorn had been leading at lunch. He had made four birdies and gave the impression of being in command of his game. He then doublebogeyed the short fifth in the afternoon and the storm signals were suddenly flying.

From the seventh to the tenth he recorded three miserable bogeys, to his immense credit he fought back to birdie the 11th and that's when McGinley hurled that eagle at him. A body blow.

Said McGinley: "Nobody is more surprised than me that I won 6&5 after being down after 18 holes. But I played really, really well this afternoon."

Hanging in is the in-phrase these days and McGinley used it to describe his game. "Thomas came out for the first four holes this afternoon and played well. But I was able to match him.

?Thomas and me are really good friends, he wished me the best of luck and I knew that he meant it.?

This is McGinley?s first Matchplay and how did he feel in the company he?s now keeping? Which, considering the number of world stars who are absent, seemed a strange sort of question.

He answered it, though. ?I?d like to think I?m comfortable. Nothing has come easily to me in terms of golf; I?ve had to work hard for everything and now I?m enjoying my best stint as a professional golfer.?

He does not have an elite field to compete against here and there?s no reason why he should not do well. Unless the reason is Luke Donald, whom he meets today.

Michael Campbell was in one of the tightest matches of the day and he beat Australian Geoff Ogilvy only on the 36th green.

In one furious burst during the afternoon Ogilvy posted five birdies in six holes from the sixth. ?I just managed to fall over the finishing line,? said Campbell.

The last green was also the scene of the dramatic conclusion of the dogfight that Jose Maria Olazabal and David Howell were engaged in.

At one point of the morning round Olazabal was three ahead and Howell had to eagle the 18th in order to go to lunch at two down.

It was an inspirational blow for Howell came out fighting in the afternoon. He birdied the first, won the second with par and then hit a 3-iron second to the third for the birdie that took him into the lead.

By the 11th the Spaniard had got his advantage back and it was see-saw stuff all the rest of the way until the 17th was halved with birdies. And Howell also birdied the last. But he was forced to watch as Olazabal, having hit a 5-wood second to 8ft, rammed in the eagle putt.