Insider Sport’s Matchday Programme offers a personal look at what sporting moments and figures have inspired industry stakeholders. Through candid reflections, the programme delves into the stories behind the inspirations that have shaped their perspectives and fuelled their passion for sports.

In this edition, James McCarthy, Managing Director of Media at LiveScore Group, recalls the impressive nature, in which Tiger Woods won the 2019 Masters, highlighting his distinct ability to balance competitive drive with personal well-being throughout his career. 

James McCarthy, Managing Director of Media at LiveScore Group

Which athlete do you think demonstrated the best winning mentality throughout their career?

Michael Jordan – he had a true winners mentality and went through several personal tragedies that disrupted his career. Still, despite the struggles and perhaps even amplified by them, he was able to demonstrate the immense impact he had on his team, which would go on to win six NBA titles throughout the 90s and is considered one of the greatest dynasties in basketball history.  

Who was your childhood sports hero and why? Which of their sporting achievements had the biggest impact on you?

Roy Jones Jr. – I’ve always been a huge boxing fan, and I think his unique skill set and fighting style made him one of a kind. It’s just a shame we never got to see him go up against the top Brits at the time; Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn.  

His weight division was packed with talent, but he just seemed unbeatable. I think his achievement of winning a heavyweight title will never be matched again. To begin your career at middleweight and work your way up the divisions to eventually achieve heavyweight success is an immense accomplishment and one unlikely to be repeated.  

What sports team do you follow the closest? Is this a family team or local side etc, and what has been the biggest moment in your history of supporting this club?

I’m a big Spurs fan. Despite being notoriously unsuccessful in terms of trophies, the 2019 UEFA Champions League run was one of the most enjoyable times I’ve had as a fan. We fell just short of the end goal, but I’ll never forget the emotions I experienced in that game against Man City in the Quarter Final and, of course, Lucas’ last-minute winner vs Ajax in the Semi.

Is there a team manager from any sport, whether that be football, rugby, NFL, NBA etc, who you think demonstrated the best leadership qualities?

It may seem slightly obvious, but Sir Alex Ferguson is number one in my book. I think his ability to adapt and change with the times was admirable. Like many, I would tune in to Manchester United games, rooting for them to lose, but looking back, he was special and probably the greatest football manager of all time. 

What sports tournament do you think consistently provides the biggest thrills? Which moment from this league stood out to you the most in recent memory?

As a huge golf fan, nothing beats the Ryder Cup for me. It’s an event that I look forward to more than any other in the sport. 

As for my favourite moment, the Ryder Cup 2012 is a real stand-out. I tuned in on the Sunday with virtually no hope, and despite all the odds being against them, Team Europe found a way to pull victory from the clutches of defeat. I believe it remains one of the greatest comebacks of all time and something I would have loved to witness live. 

If you could travel back in time to any historic sporting moment to watch it then and now, which would it be and why?

Good question! I’d say it’s either the 2012 Ryder Cup or the 2019 Masters, which saw Tiger Woods unexpectedly take home the top prize. The Masters has always been my favourite golf Major, and the sheer unpredictability of Tiger winning that tournament against all odds will live long in the memories of golf fans.  

If you could go out for dinner with any sporting figure, current or historical, who would it be and what would you want to learn from them?

If I could go out for dinner with any sporting figure, I would choose Tiger Woods. Tiger is not only one of the most iconic golfers in history but also a symbol of what’s possible to come back from. I’d love to learn about the mental resilience and focus required to dominate a sport at the highest levels, while also overcoming significant personal and professional challenges.  

Additionally, I’d like to hear his thoughts on the evolution of golf during his career and his advice for young athletes. His perspective on balancing competitive drive with personal well-being would be especially insightful. 

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