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After Paul Azinger cut up, NBC Golf is attempting out a brand new lead analyst

paul mcginley smiles while holding microphone from european tour event

Paul McGinley will change Paul Azinger within the lead analyst chair at this week’s Hero World Problem.

Getty Photographs

Paul Azinger is not NBC Golf’s lead analyst, however might a brand new Paul be on the best way?

Paul McGinley, the previous professional golfer and longtime voice for each Golf Channel and Sky Sports activities, will fill in for Azinger’s spot within the lead chair at this week’s Hero World Problem, in accordance with a report from the Irish Impartial’s Brian Keogh. McGinley will probably be on the decision alongside the same old NBC Golf workforce, a tryout within the lead slot overlapping with Tiger Woods’ return to the game. NBC subsequently confirmed McGinley’s non permanent call-up to GOLF.com, however cautioned the community has not but made any everlasting choices on who will fill the lead chair.

Final week, NBC confirmed that Azinger’s contract was not renewed after 5 years as lead golf analyst for the community, a choice that Azinger known as each “stunning and disappointing.” Whereas Azinger was a popular determine by many inside NBC, his departure wasn’t utterly stunning. The longtime broadcaster had been a polarizing determine throughout his time at NBC, the place his evaluation was typically criticized for over-generalizing or working counter to simply accessible statistics or info.

Although McGinley’s fill-in position doesn’t include any long-term guarantees, it might not be a shock if the Hero supplied some clues as to the long-term way forward for the NBC broadcast. At the least yr’s Hero, NBC formally employed Smylie Kaufman and Brad Faxon, the 2 names who changed long-time broadcasters Roger Maltbie and Gary Koch, whose contracts weren’t renewed upon the completion of 2022.

After all, NBC might wait to announce a full-time alternative for Azinger, however the community shouldn’t be afforded the posh of a prolonged job search. Its 2024 PGA Tour protection begins in only a few weeks’ time on the Sentry Event of Champions and continues with a bunch of early-season tournaments which can be essential to season-long viewership knowledge. In different phrases, it’s in everybody’s finest curiosity to have a alternative introduced sooner reasonably than later.

McGinley, a legendary Ryder Cupper and Dublin native, is an fascinating match as a lead analyst subsequent to play-by-play man Dan Hicks. He is a well-liked determine amongst gamers and manufacturing people in roles for Sky and NBC, and his in depth expertise with each dwell match protection and studio work would make him a secure selection from a workload standpoint. Although he has not labored as a lead analyst earlier than, his position on Sky’s extra Socratic broadcasts makes him at the least pretty well-versed within the expectations of the position. At 56 years previous, he would additionally mark a continuation of NBC Golf’s youth motion and supply the community with a becoming counterpart for CBS’s Trevor Immelman, who’s contemporary off an excellent first season subsequent to Jim Nantz.

paul azinger poses for a headshot at the players championship in ponte vedra beach, fla.

Paul Azinger is dropped as NBC’s lead golf analyst


James Colgan

As an analyst, McGinley is sharp and opinionated, his forthrightness and golf IQ serving as two of his largest strengths. It ought to come as no shock to be taught that he stays deeply embedded with the European golf contingent, sustaining shut relationships with lots of the continent’s largest gamers. In his U.S.-based work, he has earned plaudits for his preparation and analysis; his banter with Brandel Chamblee on Golf Channel’s Dwell From has produced a few of the sport’s most compelling studio tv over the previous a number of years. (One needn’t look a lot additional than McGinley’s skewering on TPC Sawgrass’ seventeenth gap for proof.)

No matter whom NBC hires for the lead chair, the community finds itself in a key second for its golf protection, which has confronted mounting criticism lately for falling behind its counterparts at CBS. NBC has had simply two lead analysts previously 35 years — Azinger for the final 5, and Johnny Miller for the three many years previous him. The following rent will assist to form the tone and voice of the community’s protection because it nears the midpoint of a nine-year, multi-billion-dollar rights settlement with the PGA Tour.

Whereas McGinley received’t unravel any of these traits on the Hero, he can have the prospect to make a compelling case for his worthiness within the position. Contemplating that scores of golf followers are more likely to tune in to see the return of Woods to match golf, McGinley received’t simply be talking to his bosses.

James Colgan

Golf.com Editor

James Colgan is a information and options editor at GOLF, writing tales for the web site and journal. He manages the Sizzling Mic, GOLF’s media vertical, and makes use of his on-camera expertise throughout the model’s platforms. Previous to becoming a member of GOLF, James graduated from Syracuse College, throughout which era he was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Lengthy Island, the place he’s from. He may be reached at james.colgan@golf.com.



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