Miller extends contract with NBC through 2017

By Doug FergusonOctober 14, 2014, 9:12 pm

NAPA, Calif. - In his own words, Johnny Miller doesn't think he has lost his marbles. Not all of them, anyway.

And there's a big part of him that wants to see if Tiger Woods can find his game.

Miller was the first person who dared to mention the ''C'' word (choke) in a golf telecast. As he finished his 25th year as the lead analyst for NBC Sports, he began thinking about the ''R'' word - retirement.

It didn't help that NBC lost the U.S. Open when the USGA couldn't refuse an offer from Fox that topped $1 billion. Miller also has a history of leaving on his own terms. He started scaling back his playing career in his early 40s.

''I was thinking I'm 67. I'm getting up there,'' Miller said over the weekend at Silverado, where he was the unofficial host at the Open. ''I didn't know how my marbles were going to be at that time. So far, I haven't lost too many. I'll be the first guy to quit this if I start losing it.''

Instead, he extended his deal with NBC Sport through at least 2017, with an option for another year.

That would end a year before the U.S. Open returns to Pebble Beach for the sixth time, and part of Miller wonders if there's a chance he can play some role on TV. It's bad enough not to be calling the shots at a U.S. Open, even worse when it's in Northern California, the roots of his Hall of Fame career.

''That would be tough to watch Pebble or Olympic Club and not be able to cover it,'' Miller said, pausing to smile before adding, ''For me. Maybe not for other people.''

Miller has annoyed plenty of people - mostly players - during his 25 years in the booth.

That list includes Woods.

It's nothing personal. It rarely is with Miller.

''The nice part about my career is I started covering him at the U.S. Amateur, and I was going to the national junior (U.S. Junior Amateur) when my sons were in it,'' he said. ''So I've covered pretty much his whole career.''

Miller was never more prescient than in a book he wrote 10 years ago, ''I Call The Shots.'' In debating both sides of whether Woods (who had eight majors in 2004) could surpass the 18 majors won by Jack Nicklaus, he wrote that Woods was an old 28 as a child prodigy and ''I have a feeling Tiger is dead in his prime right now, and that it won't be long before the hole shrinks back to its regulation 4 1/4-inch size.''

''Like everybody else,'' Miller wrote, ''he's slowly accumulating bits of scar tissue from small disappointments and putts that burn the edge of the hole and don't fall. I'm lukewarm on the prospect of another stretch of play like he experienced in winning the Tiger Slam.''

Woods has been stuck on 14 majors since 2008, though Miller was slightly off on his timing.

A year after the book came out, Woods went on an incomparable tear until his reconstructive knee surgery in 2008. He won six majors (a career Grand Slam in 14 majors), was runner-up four times and only twice finished out of the top four.

Winning majors has been tough on Woods since the implosion in his personal life, followed by a variety of leg and back injuries. Woods has missed 25 percent of the majors dating to 2011.

''I knew he'd have a down time, sort of like I did in '78,'' Miller said. ''His personal life tumbled in. He lost a lot of mojo there, and then he's had injuries on top of that. He had a lot happen in a short amount of time. He's in an interesting place right now. I think he's going to have a second career that will be pretty good. But he's got to get it going pretty soon. I'm pulling for him big time.''

He wouldn't be surprised if Woods were to win two majors next year. He wouldn't be surprised if Woods went a seventh straight year without a major. Woods has never been more difficult to predict, especially with a talent pool in golf that is getting deeper every year.

Miller is intrigued by it all, which is not to suggest he finds this chapter in the Tiger Woods Era to be more interesting than when he was in his prime.

''It was a lot more fun when he was winning,'' Miller said. ''I don't like to see him where he is. It's one thing to tail off. He still thinks he's young. He's an old 38. I hope I'm wrong. But he's been going hard at it since he was just out of diapers, sort of like I did. He should have some good golf left in him. We forget he won five times last year. That seems like a long time ago. He's a real positive thinker - at least he is in front of you guys.''

Miller would love to see the last few years of Woods collide with the emergence of Rory McIlroy. And he hopes that it happens soon, so he can watch from a familiar place in the broadcast booth.

No doubt he will have something to say about it.

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Angela hits Sergio in stride on field at Superdome

By Grill Room TeamDecember 18, 2017, 3:22 pm

Sergio and Angela Garcia's super 2017 keeps getting more ... Super ... Dome. (+1 awful blog lede.)

The couple started the year with Sergio's win at the Masters, then embarked on a whirlwind green jacket media tour, then kicked off El Clasico, then attended Wimbledon, then got married, then announced they were expecting their first child ...

2017 Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

And now, they're throwing each other passes on the New Orleans Saints' home turf at the Superdome.

Man, it must be so cool do that at the Silverdome. ... ... ... I'm sorry, it is the Superdome, brothers.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title

Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open

Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59

Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63

Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut

Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club

Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth

The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ

Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year

And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win

Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.