The 2023 U.S. Open belonged to Wyndham Clark, who defeated a loaded field of contenders to win the first major of his career.
For the most part, Clark’s win was well-received by golf fans. Those golf fans, however, were left displeased with the broadcast of the final round, specifically from NBC’s lead analyst, Paul Azinger.
Azinger has been the primary analyst at the U.S. Open since 2016, holding the role for both Fox and now NBC. Azinger has been a broadcaster for a long time. And like all announcers, he’s had some hits and misses. Unfortunately, Sunday’s coverage fell largely in the latter category.
From calling the results too quickly to seemingly not believing in Clark’s chances to prevail, golf fans came away underwhelmed — at best — with Azinger’s analysis.
Azinger asking what is going through Clark’s head just sums up how bad he is in the booth. He’s in there to tell us what he’s thinking because he’s been there before. Can’t fire him fast enough. #USOpen2023
— Jordan Rochon (@GeeGees12) June 19, 2023
“The left rough is horrible. The right rough isn’t so good either” – Azinger giving us the good stuff
— Two Inches Short (@TwoInchesShort) June 19, 2023
Has any announcer in the history of any sport been more wrong about random little things than Azinger today?
— Tour Junkies (@Tour_Junkies) June 19, 2023
Everything Azinger says gets proven wrong 3 seconds later.
— Matt Vincenzi (@MattVincenziPGA) June 19, 2023
“No other player on tour can do what Rory just did” -Azinger
*200 yard shot off a clean lie in the fairway that raced off the back of the green* @NBCGolf
— Connor Staton (@cstat626) June 19, 2023
Azinger kept saying that slope wasn’t gonna move that ball back regardless of what he was seeing. The ball was rolling back and he legitimately said it will not continue to roll. What’s wrong with this guy
— Frankie Borrelli (@FrankieBorrelli) June 18, 2023
If Wyndham Clark doesn't win another tournament, Paul Azinger will be there to say, "I told you so."
— Ken Fang — Very Asian With a Blue Checkmark (@fangsbites) June 19, 2023
Is Azinger worse than Chamblee?
— Tour Golf (@TuorGolf) June 18, 2023
America every time Paul Azinger speaks into a microphone. pic.twitter.com/cF9MFVJ3xd
— Don Van Natta Jr. (@DVNJr) June 19, 2023
One of the more entertaining tweets of the day came from Justin Thomas, who was watching the final round with Max Homa. As both golfers missed the cut, they had been drinking wine, leading Thomas to suggest they pair go on Instagram Live to share their views of the event.
That was a well-received idea at the time. Perhaps golf fans can start a petition to have something like that as an alternative broadcast for 2024. Because in 2023, they were largely unsatisfied with the analysis they got.