There’s been a run on Golf analysts who were former players as of late on all broadcasts for some reason and new ones seem to pop up for each Tourney. During the US Open ESPN/ABC brought on Curtis Strange, who was far from impressive, and now they’re tabbing Tom Watson for their British Open telecast starting on July 19th….
ESPN’s production of The Open Championship from Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Lankanshire, England, will be broadcasted on ABC including live weekend coverage on Saturday, July 19 (9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET) and Sunday, July 20 (8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. ET). Additionally, on ABC, SportsCenter at the Open Championship late-night highlight shows will air following the Thursday and Friday rounds from 1:05-1:35 a.m. (both ET and PT) and Saturday and Sunday from 5-6 p.m. (2-3 p.m. PT).
Mike Tirico will anchor the telecast alongside 2008 Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger and Tom Watson, who has won the Open Championship five times (1975, 1977, 1980, 1982 and 1983). Peter Alliss and Terry Gannon will serve as hole announcers with on-course reporters Andy North, Judy Rankin and Bill Kratzert. Tom Rinaldi will provide essays and interviews and ESPN The Magazine’s Rick Reilly will contribute commentary.
The amount of ex-player analysts in Golf is just staggering. It’s coming close to rivaling Football these days and the funny thing about this hire is that Tom Watson even admitted to ABC that he’s bad at on-air TV work. Via USA Today….
Watson says ABC/ESPN, which no longer covers much golf, went to him about working a few events. “I said no. I’m not good at it,” says Watson, who’s had “no more than a handful” of TV jobs. “I have a difficult time talking over somebody talking in my ear. It concerns me. I could start stuttering.”
But he says he couldn’t resist working the British Open: “There’s no better venue to give this a try.”
He also goes on to say that Golf needs more humor in its broadcasts because it’s such a “cruel game”. I couldn’t agree more which is why I’m wondering where Chris Berman is. He’s ESPN/ABC’s go to guy for humor right?
(Via ESPN PR)