News that Johnny Miller would be in the booth calling golf for the final time at the Waste Management Phoenix Open early in 2019 struck a chord with many in the golf community.
The two-time major champion and out-spoken color analyst for NBC and Golf Channel confirmed officially on Monday the reports that he would be retiring when his contract with NBC expired in February 2019.
“It just seemed like a nice round number,” Miller told GolfDigest.com on Monday. “I’ve been on for 50 years with no break. I had my 24th grandchild yesterday. All my friends were retiring, and it got to the point where I was like, ‘Hey, how come I’m not retiring?’ It’s been a great run. I’ve done everything I can do announcing wise.”
With such a long and storied career in and out of the booth, reflective questions came Miller’s way in the aftermath of his decision with his biggest regret garnering some attention. Being critical of players for shots and decisions he didn’t agree with were staples of Miller’s commentary, but one criticism, in particular, has stuck with the Utah native.
— Golf World (@GolfWorld) October 17, 2018
“I think that I didn’t say the right words about Justin Leonard at Miracle at Brookline about he should be home watching it on TV. I meant really – I did say he should be home, but I meant the motel room. Even then I probably shouldn’t have said that,” Miller told GolfChannel.com. “I want so much for the outcome that I’m hoping for that I actually get overwhelmed with what I want to see. Almost the kind of things you would say to your buddies if you were watching it on TV, you know? He just couldn’t win a match.”
Leonard had gone 0-1-2 in his three team matches heading into Sunday singles.
“Of course he ended up – after the crappy comment I made that motivated maybe the team supposedly in the locker room, and he ends up making that 45-, 50- foot putt to seal the deal,” Miller said. “Almost like a Hollywood movie or something.
“I apologized to him literally the next day; I happened to see him. I tried to make a policy when I go over the line that I get ahold of the guy within 24 hours and tell him I made a double bogey, you know. That’s just the way I have done it through the years.”