In 2021, The Masters returns to its regularly-scheduled time in April. For individuals who prefer to take heed to golf on the radio for no matter purpose, chances are you’ll discover a well-known voice. Greg Norman will probably be a part of the SiriusXM radio broadcast of the match. This may mark the legendary golfer’s return to the mic after a quick time working USGA occasions with Fox Sports.
There have been a number of the reason why his stint with Fox lasted lower than a yr.
Greg Norman and Fox Sports activities enter a brand new part
Fox Sports activities turned heads throughout the sports activities world once they picked up the rights to USGA golf occasions, together with the U.S. Open, beginning in 2015. For a model that constructed itself on “Fox angle,” golf appeared just like the final potential factor that might slot in that portfolio. No community with the Fox title on it had ever broadcast a significant golf occasion, so followers had causes to be skeptical.
That skepticism solely intensified when Fox introduced the crew for its golf protection. A lot of the staff had been transplants from Fox’s different sports activities who had subsequent to no expertise overlaying golf and appeared fully misplaced. These included Curt Menefee, Tim Brando, Joel Klatt, and naturally, history’s greatest monster — Joe Buck.
Working alongside Buck within the sales space for the 2015 U.S. Open could be Greg Norman, who got here in second twice on the occasion. This is able to be his first expertise in broadcasting in any capability. He had a troublesome act to comply with, as he would fill the sneakers of NBC’s beloved and controversial Johnny Miller.
Fox Sports activities’ golf failure is an utter catastrophe
Golf viewers noticed their worst fears realized on the 2015 U.S. Open, as Fox Sports activities’ main golf debut was tormented by technical, graphic, and human errors. The printed obtained scathing critiques throughout the board. Paradoxically, followers took explicit problem with Greg Norman, even though he was one of many few individuals on the published with any golf expertise.
The low level got here on the ultimate gap, when Dustin Johnson three-putted handy Jordan Spieth the championship. As Fox cycled by emotional photographs of Spieth celebrating his win and Johnson breaking down, Norman inexplicably went silent and added no perception to the second.
In equity, Fox’s golf coverage improved over time, however followers by no means actually bought over the horrible first impression from 2015. One optimistic they all the time had was their wonderful theme music. Whereas they didn’t carry over Yanni’s beloved “In Celebration of Man” from NBC, they did fee a new theme from Hollywood composer Brian Tyler.
Fox’s authentic contract with the USGA ran till 2027. Nevertheless, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed the 2020 U.S. Open into September, which introduced it into battle with Fox and FS1’s soccer protection. Consequently, Fox shifted the 2020 USGA occasions — and the rest of their contract — to NBC.
Greg Norman has no regrets about how issues ended with Fox
Sadly, Greg Norman wasn’t with Fox for very lengthy. The backlash was so extreme that six months after the match, Fox Sports activities changed Norman with former ESPN analyst Paul Azinger. This is able to be the second time that Azinger took benefit of Norman’s misfortune. Throughout their professional careers, Azinger defeated Norman in a playoff to win the 1993 PGA Championship at Inverness in Ohio.
“I felt like I bought rolled underneath the bus,” Norman mentioned in an interview with Front Office Sports. “I’m not going to say names or level fingers at different individuals. However I positively pretty and squarely bought hammered with that. Fairly exhausting, unfairly.”
Regardless of the unlucky manner issues ended for him at Fox, Norman doesn’t remorse his first step into broadcasting, nor does he maintain any ailing will towards the individuals who gave him his first shot. In reality, Norman even hopes for Fox to re-enter golf protection someday.
“It was simply disappointing that I didn’t maintain going with it,” mentioned Norman. “For Fox to be out of golf is a crying disgrace. I hope they get again into it.”