CBS announcer Jim Nantz is approaching a quarter-century of broadcasting the Masters, and he says this year’s tournament is going to be special whether Tiger Woods plays or not.
“The sport is not about one player, and I say that with a world of respect for his talents on the golf course,” Nantz said in an interview in the April issue of Golf Magazine. “But the game is bigger than Tiger Woods. The doom-and-gloom theorists really don’t understand the sport. His stepping away from the game is not the end of the world.”
Nantz, whose association with the Masters is as strong as anyone not named Bobby Jones or Jack Nicklaus, said that the tournament and the game are not as fragile as some people think.
“Somebody asked me, ‘How worried are you about the Masters without Tiger Woods?’ I said, ‘Are you kidding me? I’m not worried at all,'” Nantz said. “If he decides to play, it will be great to have him in the field, and we’ll cover it. But that tournament’s going to be very special whether he’s there or not.”
Nantz also talked with Golf Magazine about the publicity surrounding his divorce last year. Nantz said the media reported inaccuracies about his personal life and that he was hurt by the ordeal.
“I feel like the whole thing was so misrepresented,” Nantz said. “It’s really hard to believe what came out publicly and how salacious it sounded. It left me feeling really distrustful of everything I read or hear. I heard people I’m close to speculating on the radio about the divorce and ridiculing and laughing about some things that were written that just weren’t true. I thought, ‘Gosh, you know me better than that. I would never do that. How could you do this? Where is the sensitivity?'”