Best competition might be in the broadcast booth

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It should be a special broadcast, for no other reason than it won’t happen very often, if at all.

The experiment shows the flexibility Golf Channel now has with NBC under the same parent company. Bringing Hicks in as the anchor _ or perhaps the referee in this case _ only adds to the credibility of a tournament that is missing three major champions among 11 players who chose or couldn’t make it to Hawaii.

“I think it’s more or less a move to again brand the organization and show that it’s not just Golf Channel and Golf Channel people working events,” Hicks said. “We can do a lot of different things. The possibility of getting Johnny and Nick back in the booth was a big impetus. It gives the tour’s kickoff event an even bigger feel.”

The work gets trickier for Hicks, who usually only has one other voice in the booth with him. Now he has two, and there will be no shortage of ego.

“I know they want to put on a good show,” Hicks said. “I’ll let them go, and if something gets down the tracks too wildly, maybe I’ll have to steer it back on course. I’m looking forward to it. This is another example of what we can do as a company. Why not have the best two analysts in the game?”

Faldo has experience working with another analyst in the booth. He and Paul Azinger spent two years together with ABC Sports.

“I think Johnny is a lot smarter,” Faldo said, taking a shot at his former broadcast partner.

The risk is to make sure that competition stays on the golf course, not in the broadcast booth. Neither believes that will be a problem. Even so, Miller said he won’t let Faldo get away with anything, and he figures the feeling will be mutual.

“Our goal is to entertain,” Faldo said. “If we both start trying to help the viewer _ which I like to do _ and give them sort of thoughts of what the players are doing or thinking, that will be quite interesting. We both have 40 and 50 years of golfing knowledge. There should be a few good gems.”

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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