It seems like only yesterday when Billy Andrade was a brash young player who got on an amazing hot streak, winning two tournaments in a row and then being among the 1991 U.S. Open's early leaders before finally fading. You are likely to notice Andrade this week, Stan Awtrey writes for PGATour.com, because he's traded in his clubs for a microphone and will be one of the regular talking-heads on 15 Golf Channel telecasts this year.
The personable Andrade is popular with his tour pro-am partners because he's glib, he's fun, he'll talk to anyone and he's not afraid to turn up at the dreaded pro-am draw parties to help out tournament sponsors. He made his debut on the air for Golf Channel at the Bob Hope Classic and, based on that performance, he'll need some time to bring his spontaneity to the air. But he's looking forward to this new challenge.
Andrade told PGATour.com: "I think I bring some value to the
broadcast. I'm still young -- I feel like I'm a young
46 -- and I'm still playing. I'll try to be creative and get across my
point. It's always
something I've been interested in. I've been
around TV a lot, helping out whenever I got the chance."
Awtrey points out that Andrade's game has slipped. He dropped to 150th on the '07 money list, 193rd last year and hasn't had a top-10 finish since the summer of '06. "I had to face the facts that I haven't played up to my
standards," Andrade said. "You've got to make the decision whether to
go back all-in this point or take a step back and change career paths.
I'll tell you, it's not a lot of fun when (you) struggle... I was out there for 22 years. I have no regrets. I've had a nice career."
One last Daily Flogging thought about Andrade: He's got a couple of years to decide whether he wants to get his game together and play on the Champions Tour.
So stay tuned.