BBC Misses Out on Atwal’s Victory

India’s Arjun Atwal won the Malaysian Open for the second time in his career after he beat Sweden’s defending champion Peter Hedblom in a play-off.

But before going into Atwal’s victory, I’d like to comment a bit about the BBC website’s treatment of this piece of news.

If the BBC consider themselves a parochial news outlet that serves only Britain, then I would have no complaints.

However, I am assuming from the fact that BBC World can be seen around the global, its radio channels have an international presence and is accessed by millions around the world, the famous name in news is more than merely a Brit-centric mouthpiece.

It certainly didn’t come across that way from reading their report on the Malaysian Open, which is a European Tour event also sanctioned by the Asian Tour. Here is how it started:

“Britain’s Simon Dyson had to settle for third place at the Malaysian Open after leading for most of the final round.

India’s Arjun Atwal took the title, beating defending champion Peter Hedblom at the second play-off hole.”

The article went on to say how Dyson had led until the 16th hole before a rain-break threw him off his stride.

That may be true but this is disrespectful to Atwal and Hedblom, who took part in a gripping play-off that saw the Indian win on the second extra hole.

Every other international news outlet that I read led off with Atwal winning but BBC felt it was more newsworthy that Dyson finished third.

It was a wrong call by the website editor, who should realise that the story has international implications not just British.

Anyway, Atwal surged into the lead with a eight-under-par 64 to finish the tournament on 18-under 270. Overnight leader Hedblom matched him but three-putted on the second extra hole, a par three, which Atwal parred. He said on the European Tour website:

“It is an amazing feeling. I don’t know how to put it into words. To come here and win this title twice now is incredible. I didn’t think I had a chance starting out and just relaxed from the first hole. It was only on the 11th I felt I had a chance. It is incredible.”

Atwal last won the title in 2003 and the victory will give him plenty of confidence as he tackles the Nationwide Tour in a bid to regain his PGA Tour card.

On the PGA Tour, Sean O’Hair made the most of Stewart Cink’s collapse to the the PODS Championship in Palm Harbor, Florida.

O’Hair scored a two-under par 69 to finish with 280 and win the tournament by two strokes from six others, including Cink.

Cink had a four-shot lead after two holes of the final round but amazingly imploded in the back nine, losing four straight shots to end up with 74.

Tying Cink for second were Ryuji Imada, Troy Matterson, George McNeill, John Senden and Billy Mayfair.

2 Responses to “BBC Misses Out on Atwal’s Victory”

  1. Nazvi Careem says:

    Colin. Thanks for your comment. Yes, I’m not disputing the BBC’s Britishness, nor the needs of its audience. I’m disputing their pure journalism standards. In simple, stripped-down news sense and all things being equal, the winner of any given tournament is the news. Incidents where second or third place are given priority are rare. Greg Norman’s meltdown at the 1996 Masters is a good example. A benchmark of any major news outlet that promotes itself as a global network is its aversion to parochialism. Okay, if it was a provincial or town newspaper, then that would be justified. However, BBC trumps itself as an international news network, therefore, they have to justify it. Even if it is “Arjun Atwal denied Simon Dyson victory at the Malaysian Open”, that would be better than giving Dyson sole possession of the lead paragraph. Thanks

  2. Colin Courtney says:

    I think you’ll find that the BBC (BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation) write the majority of their stories from a purely British/Irish/European angle, in that order. Yes, they are available worldwide on BBC World, BUT, like I say, most sports are looked at from a British point of view. Anything else is only secondary. Frustrating yes, but the majority of people who look at the BBC site, are either from Britain or Ireland, or former Brits living abroad.

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