Legendary CBS announcer Jim Nantz briefly made the jump to Fox during the third round of the U.S. Open Saturday at Pebble Beach.
During Fox’s U.S. Open coverage earlier this week, lead announcer Joe Buck was asked about emailing his pal Nantz to join him in the U.S. Open booth. Buck instead simply invited Nantz on-air.
Nantz lives adjacent to the famed, 100-year old Pebble Beach Golf Links course. He was married on the 7th hole seven years ago this past week and has a 50%-scale replica of the same hole in his Carmel, Calif., backyard.
Phil Mickelson became one of the notable PGA Tour pros to ace the Nantz No. 7 last week. Nantz said Brandt Snedeker this past Tuesday became the only pro golfer to do it twice.
The visit completed a golf broadcasting Grand Slam for Nantz, He had yet to call a U.S. Open on television. He has called the PGA Championship and Masters for CBS and the British Open for BBC. Nantz has been delivering play-by-play from the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (aka “The Crosby”) on CBS for the past 34 years.
“It looks amazing,” Nantz said of this Pebble Beach set up. “It’s a treasure. It’s not just a national treasure. It’s a world-wide treasure. You have St. Andrews. You have Pebble Beach. These two are the epicenters of the game. That’s another big reason why I was drawn here. It wasn’t for the tennis. I can’t wait to see what unfolds tomorrow.”
Nantz immediately jumped from giving a run-down of his life and times at Pebble Beach into calling the action when Phil Mickelson teed off on No. 8.
“Here is Phil over at the eighth. You just stand on this fairway and look at this target. You can’t even believe how they find the green. That’s a great shot by Phil.”
Nantz said he expected Tiger Woods or Mickelson would make a deep run Saturday with a low number, but that has yet to materialize.
“Everybody’s thrilled with the set-up. You guys deserve to have an issue-free U.S. Open with all the things that have happened,” Nantz said.
Nantz said he walked down from his house to make the appearance on FOX and plans to walk home afterward. He invited both Joe Buck and Paul Azinger to try their best at making a hole in one in his backyard and add their names to the Rock of Fame.
There was no reciprocal invitation issued to have Buck join Nantz for 2020 Masters.