Fox’s golf coverage is changing yet again. After landing the USGA package in 2014, one of the network’s first personnel moves was to bring in Holly Sonders from Golf Channel. But Sonders told Golfweek’s The Forecaddie Wednesday she won’t be doing further golf work for Fox:
“I’m incredibly proud to have been a part of Fox Sports’ USGA coverage,” Sonders said when contacted by The Forecaddie. “The entire golf team has become like family and I learned a lot working alongside them. I look forward to continuing my relationship with Fox Sports as I transition into a studio role and am excited about the opportunities ahead of me.”
…Fox Sports shared a statement confirming her continued role on non-golf coverage.
“Holly is a valued member of the Fox Sports family and we’re thrilled to continue working with her,” it read.
That’s interesting, as golf has long been an important subject for Sonders. She played at Michigan State (helping the women’s team to a 2007 Big Ten title along the way) before graduating with a journalism degree in 2009, and while her first reporting jobs (a news and sports reporter at Columbus CBS affiliate WBNS, a football sideline reporter at the Big Ten Network, and a news and sports reporter at Little Rock ABC affiliate KATV) weren’t golf-related, she really came to national prominence when she joined Golf Channel. There, she hosted Morning Drive and some instructional shows before Fox brought her in, both to do golf and NFL sideline reporting.
However, there have been some bumps in the road since then for Sonders on Fox’s golf coverage. She made her U.S. Open debut on the network’s initial 2015 broadcast of the event as a post-round interviewer, but was widely roasted for her performance in that role. And ahead of the U.S. Women’s Open later that year, Fox replaced her in that role with Irish golf journalist Shane O’Donoghue; she hasn’t done post-round interviews since. (Interestingly enough, The Forecaddie notes that O’Donoghue’s contract also hasn’t been renewed.)
Sonders has still contributed to Fox’s USGA coverage in different roles, though, and she gave us a blooper for the ages with “the entire days of sexual qualifying” earlier this year:
— Dan Valine (@danvaline) June 5, 2018
Sonders has been doing other work for Fox recently, including college football sideline reporting and fill-in work on some FS1 studio shows like Lock It In. And she’s been mentioned in connection with other studio roles, including as a potential Joy Taylor successor on Undisputed (that role eventually went to Jenny Taft). But there aren’t any apparent studio openings at Fox right now, so it will be interesting to see what Sonders winds up doing. We just know it won’t be golf.