- Associated Press - Sunday, June 15, 2014

PINEHURST, N.C. (AP) - Johnny Miller choked back tears. Dan Hicks shook his hand and thanked him for “a great ride.”

With that, NBC’s 20-year run of televising the U.S. Open was over.

A handshake, those held-back tears and a highlight montage marked the end of the network’s final broadcast - for another 13 years, at least - of golf’s national championship.

NBC had televised the U.S. Open every year since 1995 at Shinnecock Hills with the love-him-or-hate-him Miller as its lead analyst.


The U.S. Golf Association’s 12-year deal with Fox Sports begins next year.

Producer Tommy Roy had said the only mention of the farewell would come during the sign-off Sunday. He kept his word, and NBC left most of the sentimentality out of the broadcast.

Instead, during the round, the network kept its focus on the renovated Pinehurst No. 2 course and, of course, on Martin Kaymer as he rolled to an eight-stroke victory for his second major title.

Kaymer’s daylong dominance meant the only question left unanswered was how NBC would handle its farewell.

After the trophy presentation, the network cut to Hicks and Miller - the 1973 U.S. Open winner at Oakmont - for some brief analysis of the German player’s performance.

Then, it was time to say goodbye.

Calling the tournament “the highlight of my career,” Hicks said he “had the best seat in the house with the best analyst that has ever done this game.”

Miller appeared to choke back tears.

“I believe there’s a time and a season for everything,” Miller said. “There have been a lot of great memories, lot of great champions, lot of great moments, and I’ve had my share.”

“Partner,” Hicks said, shaking Miller’s hand, “thank you for a great ride.”

After rolling the credits, Hicks said his final farewell, calling it “an honor and a privilege to document our national championship of golf for all of you. We’ll never forget how much fun this 20-year ride has been. Good night from Pinehurst.”

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