Nick Faldo was doing some commentary for Sky Sports that week when NBC executive producer Tommy Roy thought it might be interesting to have the six-time major champion from England join Johnny Miller in the broadcast booth. If nothing else, he might offer some European perspective.
“Instant sparks,” Hicks recalled. “And instant entertainment.”
They reunite this week for the Tournament of Champions.
Golf Channel is broadcasting the PGA Tour’s season opener from the Plantation Course at Kapalua. Faldo is the lead analyst for CBS Sports, but he also works for Golf Channel for weekday coverage. Miller has been the lead analyst for NBC since 1990. NBC and Golf Channel now are both owned by Comcast.
What to expect? Not even they know for sure.
“It will be interesting to see if this ends up in a mild fist fight, or it ends up in a big brother-little brother kind of thing,” Miller said.
Miller shot off his mouth as readily as he fired at pins. He is famous for his 63 in the final round at Oakmont to win the 1973 U.S. Open, and has two majors among his 25 career wins on the PGA Tour. Faldo did nothing without great thought, working his way around the golf course toward six majors. They were inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame together in 1998.
“As long as I’ve been working with Johnny, no one had ever sat in the chair next to him from a broadcast perspective,” Hicks said. “All of a sudden, here’s Nick Faldo, six-time major champion. And Johnny was like, `Wait a minute, this is my territory.’ And people picked up on it. They’re opposites. But sometimes, opposites in television can create a great chemistry.”
On the eve of the broadcast, Miller already was firing away.
“I’m probably a little more out there in what I’m willing to say,” Miller said. “Nick did say that when he got comfortable in the broadcast booth, he would make me look like Mary Poppins. I haven’t seen that yet.”
Faldo laughed when he heard that comment _ “It was a throwaway line in jest,” he said _ although he says he’s not afraid to say when he sees. Mostly, he’s curious to see how he and Miller react to each other’s opinions.
“We see things differently, and that’s the whole point of it,” Faldo said. “He’ll spot things that I missed, and I’ll spot things that he missed. I think it will be interesting because we both come at it from our own angle, what we see and what we think, whether we agree or disagree. It’ll be good fun for TV. It’s a good idea. Let’s give it a go.”View Entire Story
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