Faldo replaces Wadkins on CBS golf team
EmptyNick Faldo joined CBS Sports as its lead golf analyst on Tuesday, giving him more air time than any other golf broadcaster but a job that will keep him from playing in the Masters.
Faldo, a three-time Masters and British Open champion, replaces Lanny Wadkins in the tower alongside Jim Nantz.
The Masters is the highest-rated golf tournament, broadcast every year since 1948 by CBS. Faldo said his decision to join the network showed his commitment to his new career as a television analyst.
"I will be in the tower at Augusta for the whole week," he said. "I will not be playing, and that was a major part of my decision. I view this as a fabulous opportunity for me, which may come once every 10 years. But it will seriously curtail my playing career. My playing days aren't completely over, but my priority now is given to CBS."
Faldo joins the network as it embarks on a six-year contract with the PGA Tour.
CBS will broadcast 21 events on the schedule starting in 2007. Faldo recently signed a deal as an analyst with The Golf Channel, which has the first three tournaments next year and all the Thursday and Friday rounds.
Faldo also will be in the booth for ABC Sports for the British Open, giving him every major except the U.S. Open, which is carried by NBC Sports with Johnny Miller as its lead analyst.
Tony Petitti, executive vice president of CBS Sports, said Wadkins declined to take a reduced role with the network and decided to devote more of his time to playing on the Champions Tour.
Faldo, 49, has been in the booth with Paul Azinger for ABC Sports the last three years and he already has carved his own niche with his distinctive English accent and insight as the dominant player of his generation. Along with his three Masters and British Open titles, Faldo has earned more Ryder Cup points than any European player.
He is not as acerbic as Miller, although several players particularly from Europe have said Faldo's analysis has allowed them to understand what his thought process was as a six-time major winner.
Asked to define his style, Faldo said, "I duck and dive, go with the flow each week. If you know what you're going to get, there's no point in having me."
As if his television work isn't enough, Faldo also will be keeping his eye on European players as the Ryder Cup captain for the 2008 matches, when Europe will try to capture the cup an unprecedented fourth straight time.
"My finger is on the pulse. I'll know all the scores," Faldo said. "I'll keep my eyes on what the guys are up to."
Faldo still can wear his green jacket at Augusta National when he's on the grounds or at the Champions Dinner on Tuesday night. And while Petitti said it might be a good way for CBS to open its Masters coverage, a club spokesman said it was not clear if Faldo would be able to wear the green jacket in the broadcast tower.