Billy on the Box: Rory McIlroy will have a dream come true soon
You have to feel a little sorry for Charl Schwartzel, a man destined never to be remembered for winning the Masters.
No, we have to accept that from now until the end of time, The Masters 2011 will be known for just one thing — the McIlroy meltdown.
It was also notable, from a telly point of view, as the first time Sky took over as the lead broadcaster, with the BBC only allowed to show live action on Saturday and Sunday, but just as long as they behaved themselves and promised not to run or shout.
Sky threw everything at it, HD, 3D, red button choices galore, online, there was even an option where an artist would come round to your house and paint a mural of Rory on your gable wall while scantily clad maidens wafted you with azaleas.
So, after all the talk, what have we learned other than leading for 63 holes of the Masters doesn't get you a green jacket just a green sleeve with so many bogeys flying around. Marks out of 18.
The presenters: Hazel Irvine must have been raging, though all that extra money spent on her baggage allowance for her anorak collection and the sun was splitting the stones all week in Augusta.
Still, she'll be in Sheffield for the next fortnight at the snooker, where she'll long to be sitting out on her lovely wicker chairs again when the rain is bouncing off the Crucible windows. Sky’s David Livingstone seems like a nice bloke but is marginally less Scottish than Hazel and seems to have taken over Richard Keys' suits. BBC one-up
Great Britain or Ireland: Fair play to Sky, all week they insisted that our Rory was from Northern Ireland while over on the Beeb it really depended how he was doing. It was a bad case of the Rusedskis — a Brit when he was winning, a useless big maple-syrup guzzling Canadian when he was losing, so Rory was British, Irish, Northern Irish and an Ulsterman all on the same evening. Any wonder he couldn't concentrate on the golf. All square
Monty or Our Monty: Surely it was no coincidence that as soon as Colin Montgomerie jetted off to the States to join Sky, Our Monty was pulled out of the Grand National. I'm not saying that he looks like a horse but, when he smiles, you half expect someone to shove a sugar lump under his nose. Still, full marks to Sky for getting him on, while the Beeb had to content themselves with Hazel cleverly press-ganging unsuspecting visitors to her charming gazebo to give us some free commentary.
3D or 36DD (allegedly): I remember years ago when the TV Times would strap a pair of cardboard glasses with one red lens and one blue one onto the front and promised that this would change the way we watched TV forever. It really didn't.
But the pros love it, although their enthusiasm may have been boosted by large sums of cash and a giant 3D plasma telly.
“You are seeing a worm’s eye view of the golf course,” Monty told us. Are worms big fans of golf? I doubt it.
Tiger, a man who, if the rumours are to be believed is more of a fan of 36DD, was also wheeled in to say how much he loved it (TV that is). “I was blown away,” said Tiger. Stop it. “I was watching soccer in the locker room, and it became more real.” Yep, you could almost taste the Bovril. SKY two-up
Peter Alliss or Ewen Murray: Alliss is a bit like having an elderly relative who you have to keep an eye on when you go to dinner. He must have had Mexican, as the best description of Rory's fall from grace came from the master — ‘His brain has gone to guacamole'. As for Murray, he does a grand job. Steady. A man you would always have in your Ryder Cup team to pick you up a few points but not to shine. Bernhard Langer to Alliss' Seve. SKY one-up
Ray Charles or S Club 7: Sky, as the biggest boy in the playground obviously got first choice of music, and naturally enough plumped for ‘Georgia on my Mind', or rather a three-second snippet of it. This was so truncated by the hundreds of ads, Sky were forced to take that it sounded as if someone had caught their mashie niblicks in the lift door. They should have reached into the bag for the S Club 7 as the Beeb did, with them digging out their arrangement of Never Had A Dream Come True. Perhaps a dedication for a young master McIlroy from north Down. Halved SKY one-up
Ken Brown or Butch Harmon: Ken has always resembled and sounded like a geography teacher while Butch does and always will be Dr. Evil's fairway-strolling brother. Let’s just hope his underground lair doesn't annoy those worms looking to enjoy the golf. But Ken excelled, turning up on a variety of greens armed with a variety of props such as paper cups and a snooker cue to tell us how undulating they were. Geography teachers can't afford 3D obviously. As for Butch, the most touching moment of the week was when they showed him coverage of his dad winning the Masters. No 3D, HD or even colour, good old black and white. All square
Charl or Rory: Hole 10 is one Rory will never forget. At this stage it was crazy golf, I was waiting for him to play his next through the wee windmill before getting onto the green where he had to try and get the ball into Monty's mouth. From then on it was all too painful, more wheels coming off than in a clown car rally and you just wanted someone to hand the young lad a goldfish and send him on his way.
Still, despite his disastrous day, and unlike his Ryder Cup skipper, he still had the good grace to do all post-round interviews when he must have felt like crawling under a stone. Yes, a bad day at the office, but he'll be back and well done to whatisname for winning that green jacket.
FINAL SCORE: All square