Monday, April 09, 2012

What do you give to the man who has everything? A pass for the Masters

Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan interviews Tiger Woods at the Masters golf and gets a pasting on the internet because he underestimated the number of times Woods had won the tournament. It seems a pretty minor mistake to make but it's made worse by the fact that he's famous for something other than golf.

I would imagine the BBC sent him to Augusta because attendance at the Masters is a perk for the man who has everything. Didn't they send Gary Lineker in the past? People as connected as these can get a ticket to anything: World Cup Finals,  a box at Cheltenham, the last day of Wimbledon, anything but the Masters. The Masters is different.

I know this from my own experience. In 1996 I was sent there to write about it. (Not that I'm Michael Vaughan.) I had a great time. It's the only golf tournament of any description I've been to.

It was only afterwards that I realised that there are people all over the world who go to bed every night and dream of going to the Masters. That's why Michael Vaughan is being given such a tough time today. That and the fact that the modern BBC believes that fame in one area can be traded for ratings in another.


  1. His 'hair' looks good though.

  2. Nail on head, David.

    A comparatively minor error and one that would have barely raised comment if one of the BBC's regular golf team had made it. However, there tends to be resistance to people like Vaughan getting involved in coverage of different sports, not least because, as you say, they're widely perceived as having an impossibly privileged lifestyle anyway (with some justification - one week Sri Lanka, the next Augusta), and people are basically jealous.

    'Thanks' also for introducing me to the comments on the Sun website. Not somewhere I normally visit and I won't be hurrying back.

  3. There is another point to be made too. What was a former England cricket captain doing, lowering himself to the position of someone shut in a cupboard asking bland questions of people, many of whom wouldn't have known who he is?

    Surely Michael Vaughan can get a ticket to the Masters without having to offer to do this?

  4. It's hard on trained, expert journalists. The BBC do it with their radio presenters too - favouring fame and notoriety over experience and actual, ability.