Here is an excerpt from my story on Golfdigest.com:
Sunday’s final round of the U.S. Amateur saw (Joe) Buck and Fox Sports complete the first year of its 12-year deal with the USGA. Buck insists he already is looking forward to next year’s USGA slate and that viewers can expect to see an improvement in the quality of Fox’s golf presentation.
Buck is well aware of the knocks against Fox’s golf coverage, largely stemming from negative reactions to the U.S. Open. However, he maintains the crew made great strides this year. In an ideal situation, he says Fox would have been better served if the U.S. Open was its last tournament of the year, rather than one of its first.
“Absolutely,” Buck said. “We didn’t have that luxury. Everyone talks about reps. There’s no substitute for reps. Now that we’ve done four or five events, there is more of an ease with the timing. It’s gotten a lot better. I told everyone [before the U.S. Open] that we would be better on Friday than we were on Thursday. I know we will be better next year than we were this year.”
While acknowledging Fox’s coverage of the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay wasn’t perfect, Buck said it was his “proudest moment” during his years with the network, which has featured him calling multiple World Series and Super Bowls.
“I’d put that up against anything we’ve done on Fox,” Buck said. “Technologically, it was a major undertaking at Chambers Bay. It put everyone under the gun. We were picking up sound on the greens, things that carried the story. Everyone was clicking beer bottles when we went off the air. It felt that good.”