Johnny Miller, televised golf’s most visible and outspoken analyst since 1990, will retire from NBC Sports early next year, GolfWeek reported.
Miller is expected to leave the job after covering the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Feb. 3 — the day CBS carries Super Bowl LIII — citing his ties to golf in Arizona, where he had great success as a player, as a reason to make that his finale.
In an interview with GolfDigest on Monday, Miller said, “It just seemed like a nice round number. I’ve been on for 50 years with no break. I had my 24th grandchild yesterday. All my friends were retiring and it got to the point where I was like, ‘Hey, how come I’m not retiring?’ It’s been a great run. I’ve done everything I can do announcing-wise.”
Paul Azinger, the lead analyst for Fox’s U.S. Open coverage, is expected to succeed Miller at NBC while continuing at Fox. Miller and NBC covered the U.S. Open before Fox took over that assignment in 2015. NBC has carried the British Open since 2016.
When Fox secured rights to the U.S. Open, Miller said, “I feel bad for the USGA in a way that money was more important than basically a good golf crew.”
Miller, 71, first rose to widespread fame as a golfer when he shot a 63 in the final round at Oakmont en route to winning the U.S. Open in 1973. He won the British Open in 1976 and won 25 PGA Tour events overall. He is in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
As an analyst, he has developed a well-earned reputation for blunt talk that sometimes caused stirs.
One example: During the 2008 U.S. Open playoff between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate he said Mediate looked “like the guy who cleans Tiger Woods’ pool” and said “guys with the name of Rocco don’t get on the trophy, do they?”
He later apologized.