This upcoming golf season, there’s going to be a bit of change in the broadcasting booth for NBC Sports. Johnny Miller, the 29-year broadcasting veteran, is expected to retire as NBC’s lead golf analyst, according to GolfWeek. He will be replaced by a familiar face to golf fans: fellow analyst Paul Azinger.
Azinger, who won the 1993 PGA Championship and collected a total of 12 wins on the PGA Tour during his career, will continue his broadcast duties with Fox Sports alongside joining the lead booth at NBC. Azinger calls the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open for Fox.
“It’s been 50 years on the road, and part of me is saying, ‘That’s enough,’” said the 71-year-old Miller at the Safeway Open media day in Napa where he resides.
Miller’s contract expires after the 2019 Waste Management Open early next year at TPC Scottsdale in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The two-time major champion and 25-time winner on the PGA Tour has worked for NBC’s golf coverage since 1990. Because of rather blunt and upfront commentary style, many fans consider Miller to be one of the best golf television analysts in the business. But he has also been applauded for his expertise in the sport.
Many of the same compliments attributed to Miller have also been given to Azinger, who is more commonly referred to as Zinger by fans. Like Miller, Azinger’s knowledge of the golf and willingness to criticize players and be honest has earned him high marks and praise.
Zinger began his broadcasting career in 2005 when he joined up with ESPN and ABC Sports, where he worked alongside current NBC Sports play-by-play broadcaster Mike Tirico and CBS’ lead golf analyst Nick Faldo.
After spending over 10 years at ESPN, Azinger left for Fox Sports when it seized control of the broadcasting rights of the U.S. Open. Azinger replaced Greg Norman in the Fox broadcasting booth alongside Joe Buck in 2016.
Based on their broadcasting similarities, it appears that the transition from Miller to Azinger will be a smooth one. Hopefully Dan Hicks, the lead play-by-play man for NBC Sports’ golf coverage, feels the same about his new partner.