Nick Faldo gives an emotional departure after 16 years as a CBS golf analyst

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Asked by his longtime broadcast partner Jim Nantz for his “final thoughts on this remarkable run,” Nick Faldo was momentarily unable to muster a convincing answer.

At the end of a Sunday television broadcast marked by tributes and displays of emotion, Faldo broke down in tears on the CBS booth as he bade farewell to the senior golf analyst role he held. for 16 years.

The six-time big winner, ever mindful of a performer’s ability to maintain composure in a high-intensity situation, then began his response with a usually blunt critique – this time of himself.

“I ruined everything,” Faldo spat before burying his head in his hands. “I was all ready.”

Nick Faldo announces retirement after 16 years as senior golf analyst for CBS

With the help of a few pronounced deep breaths, the 65-year-old Englishman came together to give some insight into his feelings about logging off one last time. Faldo began by looking back to when he learned he had landed the gig that would win him legions of new fans several years after his Hall of Fame playing career ended.

“I was on a boat in Ireland,” he told CBS viewers, “and they called me and said, ‘Would you like to sit next to Jim Nantz? And I literally fell off the boat – I really did. That was in 2006, and here we are 16 years later.

CBS and Faldo had announced in June that his tenure as a full-time analyst would end with this weekend’s Wyndham Championship, the final PGA Tour regular season event before the field ends with its three playoff tournaments. of the FedEx Cup.

Faldo then said he wanted to spend more time with his family and friends on a Montana farm he and his wife had recently purchased. Next year’s replacement as Nantz’s partner and senior network analyst will be Trevor Immelman, the 2008 Masters winner who worked with CBS for several years.

On Sunday, Immelman was part of Golf Channel’s first coverage of the Wyndham Championship before the CBS team aired, and the 42-year-old South African paid tribute to his “good friend” Faldo.

“I was very lucky to meet Sir Nick when I was 15,” Immelman said. “He took me under his wing. He’s been a mentor to me ever since throughout my playing career, starting on the European Tour and then the PGA Tour. And when I started streaming, he did the same thing. So, Nick, thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me. Every time I sit in this chair, as Senior Analyst, I will think of you.

During the CBS telecast, Nantz and others noted that while Faldo was known for his “stoic” behavior during his playing career, he revealed to CBS viewers not just a dry wit, but a bond. deeply felt with the sport and its competitors.

“If you take a look back at your career in broadcasting, you’ve been bold enough to show everyone, including ourselves, what’s really inside your emotions,” said fellow analyst Frank Nobilo. Told Faldo. “You weren’t afraid to do that.”

Faldo wasn’t the only member of the CBS booth to shed tears on Sunday. Ian Baker-Finch, British Open champion and PGA Tour contemporary of Faldo, who was a CBS analyst and holeshot announcer for 15 years, sent his friend away emotionally.

“You’ve taught me so much and I’m grateful for that,” Baker-Finch, 61, told Faldo. “I’m honored to have my name sandwiched between yours on the burgundy jug, ’90-’91-’92, I watch this all the time with great pleasure. Over the past two decades we’ve been twinned many times in various TV towers around the world, and in fact for the past 16 years here at CBS. It’s been a great honor, and I’m sad to see you go, like all of us are here. So sad.”

“Thank you to the whole team,” Faldo said later in the telecast, after collecting his emotions. “As I affectionately and respectfully call you, the workers, they got the pictures out; we make the rattle. We have an easy job. Thank you all.”

“I am a single child and I found, at 65, three brothers,” Faldo continued, referring to Nantz, Baker-Finch and Nobilo. “Thanks.”

“Thank you, Nick, for gracing this booth and our lives,” Nantz said. He added that Faldo and his wife will now be in their “happy place” in Montana.

“I’m ready,” chuckled Faldo.

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