Miller To Sign Off Early, Azinger To Call Final Round

Johnny Miller’s final broadcast on NBC has been slated for the Waste Management Phoenix Open since he announced his official retirement in October of 2018, but the company announced on Wednesday that his tenure would end a day earlier than expected.

“Johnny Miller will call his final broadcast next Saturday (Feb. 2) during NBC Sports’ live third-round coverage of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, following nearly 30 years spent as the network’s lead golf analyst,” the company said in a statement. “The broadcast will celebrate Miller’s three decades in the 18th tower through special tributes and reflections during third round coverage from the Stadium Course at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona.”

According to the Associated Press, the decision was made because Sunday is meant to be about the champion of the event. As a result, Saturday’s third-round coverage will center around “dedicated tributes, reflections and other elements,” which include anecdotes from past and present PGA Tour players, broadcasters and NBCUniversal personalities, a special acknowledgment from broadcast partner Dan Hicks and a retrospective of Miller’s career in the booth.

“Johnny Miller has been a fixture in television for generations of golf fans, with his pointed, unfiltered approach and commitment to always calling it like he sees it for the viewer at home,” Tommy Roy, the lead golf producer of NBC Sports, said. “Sundays on the PGA Tour are all about crowning a deserving champion, so we’ll offer our reflections and gratitude to Johnny during Saturday’s third round coverage, as we celebrate his revered broadcast career.”

“I’ve given a lot of thought about this last event for me,” Miller said on a conference call on Wednesday. “You know, I know it’s time. I could feel it was time to step down, but I stepped down a little early in my playing career and started announcing, and I think maybe I’ve done the same thing here with my announcing career. … I’m looking forward to trying to figure out what I’m going to do next after I retire. It’s like time goes on. There is a time and a season for everything. I’m looking forward to a really good attitude and a lot of gratefulness inside me for all the years of my playing career and announcing career.”

Miller’s seat will be filled in by Paul Azinger on Sunday, and for the foreseeable future, but the victorious 2008 U.S. Ryder Cup captain will have some large shoes to fill.