Sunday, December 10, 2023

Paul Azinger won’t return as NBC Sports’ lead golf analyst in 2024

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Paul Azinger will not return to his role as lead golf analyst for NBC Sports in 2024, ending a five-year relationship between the network and the 12-time PGA Tour winner.

“We want to thank Paul for his work with us over the last five years,” an NBC Sports spokesperson said to Golfweek. “His insights, work ethic and relationships in the golf industry are well known, and we appreciate what he brought to our team. We wish Paul the best in his future endeavors.”

According to the Associated Press, the first to report the news Sunday morning, Azinger was disappointed and surprised by the abrupt decision. His last event was the Ryder Cup in Italy, and the 1993 PGA champion will now miss calling next month’s Hero World Challenge, where tournament host Tiger Woods will make his first competitive appearance since the Masters in April.

“I have treasured working beside Dan Hicks and the other talented NBC broadcasters as well as lead producer Tommy Roy and all those behind the scenes,” said Azinger via a statement. “They are a remarkable team, and I will miss them tremendously. My thanks to them and the countless others who have supported me and helped me along the way during my work in television. I have faith in what the future holds for me, for NBC, and for the great game of golf.”

Azinger played on four Ryder Cup teams and captained the 2008 U.S. squad to a win at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky. He began his broadcasting career in 2005 with ABC and ESPN, and after the network lost its Open Championship broadcast rights in 2015 he joined FOX Sports as their lead golf analyst. He also worked for the BBC at the Masters Tournament for six years.

“I always felt like it was my job in the booth to give the viewer a sense of what it takes to deal with the mental and physical challenges of the game,” Azinger continued. “If you play competitive golf, you learn that your mind and body change under stressful conditions and circumstances. The great players understand this and know how to perform and win when the heat is on.”

Azinger will now continue his work on the Miakka Golf Club in Myakka, Florida, as well as with his wife, Toni, on the Azinger Compassion Center in Bradenton, Florida, which supports the One More Child organization.

This time last year Golfweek was first to report that both longtime voices Roger Maltbie and Gary Koch wouldn’t be returning to NBC golf broadcasts in 2023 as network looked to “refresh” its team. The network now has another big seat to fill.

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