Paul McGinley’s broadcasting presence stateside looks set to move up a gear, after the Dubliner – Europe’s winning Ryder Cup captain in 2014 – has been asked to fill in for the lead analyst slot on NBC for this week’s Hero World Challenge in Bahamas.
The giant American network has parted company with former US Ryder Cup captain Paul Azinger, who took on the lead role in the booth when succeeding Johnny Miller in 2018.
Azinger and NBC, however, parted ways after discussions involving a reported financial reduction in the new contract were put to the former player.
McGinley’s work with Sky Sports led in recent years to a role working as an analyst with the Golf Channel in the United States, which is also part of the NBC group.
“They obviously need a fill-in this week and as I’ve done some work with them this year and am part of the Comcast Group, I’m filling in. That’s all. No more than that,” McGinley told Golf Digest magazine.
However, his new role in the television booth could conceivably lead to a longer-term arrangement as NBC look to replace Azinger. NBC has broadcast rights for a number of PGA Tour events and also for the US Open and The Open Championship.
LIV rebel Bernd Wiesberger returns
The return of Bernd Wiesberger to the DP World Tour – after flirting with LIV Golf for the past two years – would indicate the door is not entirely shut on those who jumped ship.
Wiesberger never relinquished his membership of the DP World Tour when he made the crossover to the start-up LIV where he failed to impact and lost his contract for next year’s third season of the Greg Norman-led Saudi Arabia-funded circuit.
In a statement confirming his return, the DP World Tour acknowledged that the Austrian had “fulfilled all sanctions” to enable his return from LIV to the European circuit, which it is believed included a €1.5 million fine (paid for the player by LIV).
Word of Mouth
“I’ve played those courses what seems like a million times before and I’m really comfortable around them, so there’s no reason I can’t be at least contending at the weekend and hopefully I can get my hands on it. It’s something I really want ... I’m sure I’m going to get more bites at the apple but I want to get it done sooner than later” – Cameron Smith on his desire to win the Stonehaven Cup, awarded to the winner of the Australian Open. Smith’s quest has proven elusive, but he gets another chance in Sydney this week at an event where the men’s and women’s championships will be played over two courses at The Australian and The Lakes.
By the Numbers
There are three Irish men (but no women) in the field for this week’s ISPS Handa Australian Open in Sydney, as Tom McKibbin, Conor Purcell and Mark Power – playing on a sponsor’s invite – compete in the tournament which is co-sanctioned on the DP World Tour and the Australasian Tour.
On this day... November 28th, 2004
Arron Oberholser’s decision to go globetrotting reaped dividends when he picked up a payday of $1 million in adding the Shin-Han Korea Championship onto his schedule.
Venturing out of his comfort zone on the PGA Tour wasn’t entirely straightforward, however, for Oberholser who – in a fit of pique – broke his putter after a three-putt in the first round and forced to use a pitching wedge on the greens for the remainder of that round before being given a substitute putter by fellow player Tom Pernice Jnr for the rest of the tournament.
Oberholser’s rounds of 72-73-70-69 for a total of four-under-par 284 at Jeju Island gave him a two strokes winning margin over Miguel Angel Jimenez and Kevin Na.
“I should give a bottle of wine to Tom who lent me a putter,” joked Oberholser after his victory.
Very special week coming up with @tigerwoods coming back in action. Can’t wait …. By the way, no he didn’t call me back so I will not be caddying for him this week but looking forward to an opportunity in the near future. Dream will come true – Pablo Larrazabal welcoming back El Tigre, having waged a social media campaign (unsuccessfully!) to be his caddie in Bahamas.
Really enjoyable week @JoBurgOpen @DPWorldTour. Nice to keep the momentum going after 3 weeks off. Altitude plus green speed….Still trying to work out. 18 (birdies) 1 (eagle) is a promising start to 2024. Look forward to 2 more weeks in the (South Africa) – tour veteran Ross Fisher, who opened his 19th season on the DP World Tour with a tied-12th finish in Johannesburg.
Win sandwich From Mombasa to Malaga it’s been an exciting season. Glad to finally win @openfemenio having come close at this event couple times. First win in Europe too in 8 years on @LETGolf Congrats to @Annevandam for some great golf this week, it was a fun battle – Aditi Ashok after winning the LET’s season-closing Spanish Open in the Costa del Sol. The Indian golfer now has career wins in Asia, Africa and Europe.
Know the Rules
After pushing his approach shot into a large greenside bunker, Player A – who is carrying his bag – proceeds to enter the bunker and place his bag in the sand as he prepares to play his shot. Is this in breach of the rules?
Although it is unusual, it does not breach any rules. You may place your equipment in the bunker as long as you don’t improve any conditions affecting your stroke (ie improving your lie, area of intended stance, area of intended swing or line of play) when playing or tossing the equipment in the bunker (Rule 12.2b(2)).
In the Bag
Min Woo Lee - Australian PGA Championship
Driver – Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond S (10.5 degrees)
3-wood – Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond HL (16.5 degrees)
Utility – Callaway X21 Pro UT (19 degrees)
Irons – Callaway Apex MB (4-PW)
Wedges – Callaway JWS MD5 (50 degrees), Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (56 degrees), Titleist WedgeWorks Prototype (60 degrees)
Putter – Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Double Wide
Ball – Callaway Chrome Soft X