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One of the UK’s leading football commentators has described Jim Nantz falling silent for several minutes after Tiger Woods won the 2019 Masters as a “waste of a moment”.

Appearing on the latest episode of The bunkered Podcast, Clive Tyldesley explained why he didn’t like the CBS veteran’s decision not to talk in the aftermath of Woods’ iconic 15th major.

After describing the former world No.1’s win as the “return to glory”, Nantz went two-and-a-half minutes without speaking, preferring instead to let the pictures breathe.

Whilst his handling of that moment was widely lauded, Tyldesley – ITV’s senior football commentator from 1998 to 2020 – believes the American missed a golden opportunity to do more.

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“It’s been talked about in our community as to whether it was great commentary or slightly self-indulgent,” said Tyldesley. “Tiger shook hands with about 25 people – and hugged several of them – between leaving the green and arriving at the scorers’ hut. Nantz didn’t identify any of them.

“I don’t think that’s very good journalism. I want to know who the family are and who the people are. This was a huge moment.”

Recalling advice given to him by his mentor Reg Gutteridge, Tyldesley added: “Reg used to say to me, with a great goal, you’ve got to do better than ‘oh amazing, incredible, fantastic’. You’ve got to give it some context. It’s got to be tomorrow morning’s headline. That’s what I want to hear five seconds, ten seconds after the goal. Why is this goal so important?

“Nantz certainly had a lot of thinking time to try to analyse in his mind and fathom exactly what we were seeing, something that we probably never thought we would see – Tiger winning another major championship. The most important golfer of the modern era in one of the two greatest events in our world and he won it, and won it in the way that he did.

“So he had plenty of time to pick some words. I think to give it no words was a little bit of a waste of a moment. We needed some facts. We needed to know who the heck these people were that he was getting excited with.

“But that’s my opinion. There are some people who’ve written that it was the greatest piece of sports commentary of all time.”

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In a 2019 interview with Sports Business Journal, Nantz explained that “there wasn’t a chance in the world” he was going to speak following Woods’ winning putt and that the decision had been carefully premeditated.

“As soon as the ball dropped, I said to Lance [Barrow, his producer] on the talk-back switch, ‘I’m not saying anything for a long time,’ he said. “I never would have jumped on a moment that was that big. It was just so big. There was nothing you could do to add to it. You could only ruin it.”

What do you think? Have a watch – and listen – of the video below and decide for yourself.

• Click here to listen to the full chat with Clive Tyldesley on the latest episode (No.119) of The bunkered Podcast in association with Callaway.


author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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