A little hyperbole from “The Shark” perhaps? From the AP story on Greg Norman working his first golf telecast for Fox Sports this weekend:
Norman calls the broadcasting venture one of the top five things he has done in his life.
”I think going in I’ll be as nervous as I was walking the first tee at Augusta National and teeing it up for the first time,” he said.
Fair to say, however, that Norman is excited about his new gig. Here’s the official rundown from Fox Sports:
Sixteen months ago, golf was absent from FOX Sports programming grids, but that was before the network secured a landmark agreement with the USGA in 2013, followed by the Franklin Templeton Shootout earlier this year. Much of the planning that ensued comes to fruition on Saturday, Dec. 13 as the FOX broadcast network presents final-round play of the Shootout live from Tiburon Golf Club at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Fla. (1:00-5:00 PM ET).
Joe Buck and lead analyst Greg Norman make their 18th tower debut on Saturday and are joined by Brad Faxon, Steve Flesch, rules analyst/editorial advisor David Fay, and the newest full-time member of the FOX Sports golf team, Scott McCarron (@scottmccarron), who has earned three career PGA Tour wins and is a three-time winner of the Franklin Templeton Shootout, once with Bruce Lietzke (1997) and twice with Faxon (2000 & 2001). In addition, renowned swing instructor E.A. Tischler has been added to the broadcast. Faxon is perched in the 17th tower and Flesch in the 16th tower, while McCarron and Tischler serve as on-course reporters.
Norman, the World Golf Hall of Famer who founded the Franklin Templeton Shootout in 1989, announced the 12 two-man teams competing in this year’s event in October, featuring eight of the top 30 players in the world. Led by FedEx Cup Champion Billy Horschel and last year’s Shootout champions Harris English and Matt Kuchar, the 12 teams battle for a piece of the tournament’s $3.1 million purse.
“I’m thrilled that the Franklin Templeton Shootout is where the new FOX Sports golf team makes its debut, and that I get to be involved with the event and the broadcast,” said Norman. “The tournament features a unique format that players and viewers will really enjoy, and it should provide for a close competition through Saturday’s final round on FOX.”
Unlike in years past, Norman is not competing in this year’s tournament due to his duties as an analyst for FOX Sports, but is playing in the Tuesday and Wednesday pro-am event with Buck.
“We’re really excited to begin our golf coverage at Greg’s terrific event and this beautiful course he helped design,” said Mark Loomis, FOX Sports’ Coordinating Golf Producer. “We’ve put a lot of work into building our broadcast and production teams, and although not all of our announcers are working Saturday, everyone is excited about getting that first event under our belt.”
The Franklin Templeton Shootout is the longest-running PGA Tour-sanctioned post-season event, and throughout its history the tournament has included many of golf’s greatest players. The Shootout features a different format during each of the three competitive rounds. The order of the formats has been modified and now breaks out as follows: Scramble (Thursday), Modified Alternate Shot (Friday) and Better Ball (Saturday).