The BBC is in danger of losing their coverage of golf’s greatest title, The Open, after golf bosses criticised their handling of The Masters in Augusta. Most of the classicism surrounds their lack of coverage of the game and use of celebrity interviewers. The worst offender was England cricket captain Michael Vaughan who attracted embarrassing ridicule at the Masters by not knowing the number of Green Jackets won by Tiger Woods. After that gaff he compounded the enormous error by leaving the course and final presentation before the end of play on the final day to go on holiday. Eternal shame on you Michael, and heads should have rolled at the bosses at the top. The BBC is run by the old school tie network, and nothing will change the way they do things, and for that they will lose The Open coverage when the contract runs out in 2016. These people only rate The Open as a B-listed event in the country’s sporting crown jewels, just like the Ryder Cup, incompetence of the highest order. They will only show six days of live golf coverage from next year, these will be the first two days of Augusta and the Open Championship, this will be the only live golf on the BBC from 2013 because of cost cutting.
R&A chief executive Peter Dawson has called upon the Corporation to change their restrictive policy or seriously jeopardize losing out on the oldest Major when the current deal runs out in 2016.
“We have certainly had that conversation with the BBC. It is not just golf but tennis that for financial reasons they are making towards the bigger events. Like anything in life, you need to be in practice to do it well and keep up with advances in technology. We obviously want the Open championship to to be seen by as many people as possible. But the BBC know they have got to get off the financial plateau. They know we have got our eye on them.”
Commenting on the Michael Vaughan incident Dawson added:
“It seemed rather unusual. But matters like that are best left to the BBC.”
Veteran commentator Peter Alliss said:
“It’s like playing poker with someone who has millions when you only have hundreds. The BBC can’t compete. But at the Open, we go through from 9 in the morning until 7.30 at night for four days on the BBC with no interruptions for commercials and it’s there for your licence fee.”
The 141st Open, and the 11th at Royal Lytham , will be staged July 19-22, the course has been lengthened in honor of receiving the worlds best players, and longest hitters. The course at Royal Lytham and St. Annes has been lengthened by 181 yards for this year’s British Open, with all but two holes having been altered since the last time the tournament was held there in 2001.