Hawk & Purk

Who should replace Davis Love III at CBS?

Paul Goydos 2013 FedEx St. Jude Classic
Paul Goydos could help CBS button up its golf coverage, Morning Read contributor Mike Purkey contends.

John Hawkins contends that Dottie Pepper and Mark Immelman are the on-course strength of an otherwise weak lineup, but Phil Mickelson would be worth the investment. Mike Purkey points to the dry wit of Paul Goydos as the perfect jolt of fun for the network

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Longtime golf journalists John Hawkins and Mike Purkey, who co-host the weekly Hawk & Purk podcast on MorningRead.com, also discuss and debate the game’s hottest issues in this weekly commentary.

Davis Love III ended his brief tenure as a CBS golf analyst this week. Whom should the network hire to replace him?

Hawk’s take: Nobody. You couldn’t tell that Love was part of the broadcast team even during those rare weeks when he was on the air. He said very little. He had zero impact. In this case, however, any attempt to replace the ninth batter in your lineup could only make a lousy ballclub even worse.

The two on-course reporters CBS already has – Dottie Pepper and Mark Immelman – clearly are the strengths of this 67-95 franchise. Jim Nantz remains a solid presence as anchor, but the analytical component around him is woefully lacking. Love was a weird hire to begin with, and when he was assigned to follow a group during the handful of tournaments he worked, it made no sense.

Pepper and Immelman do an excellent job on the ground. What CBS desperately needs is a strong voice with immense credibility and comprehensive knowledge of today’s players – a lead analyst with energy and candor. Nick Faldo obviously doesn’t get it, but he wouldn’t be such a glaring liability if the other ex-players behind a microphone had something insightful to say.

You want to replace DL3? Hold on to that money and find another $10 million or so, then approach Phil Mickelson at the end of the year. Philly Mick surely thinks he has some quality golf left in him, but Tony Romo left the Dallas Cowboys for CBS before his playing days were over. If you wave enough money in somebody’s face, he has to listen. And if CBS wants us to listen, it needs to lure a dynamic and recognizable presence onto its team. Only then will things start turning around.

Purk’s take: Now that Davis Love III has come to his senses and bid farewell to CBS – you wonder whose decision it really was – the network ought to run, not walk, and sign Paul Goydos. Yes, Paul Goydos. He’s one of the smartest people in the game, his opinion is wholly worth listening to and he knows what he’s talking about inside and outside of the ropes.

His nickname on Tour is “Sunshine” because he looks so gloomy all of the time. But just underneath is the best part: Goydos has a wit and humor drier than the Texas sands that will leave you hitting the rewind button to hear it again. Bob Costas asked Goydos why he fastens the top button on his golf shirt on a hot day. He replied, "I have no shoulders, and that's the only way the shirt stays on."

Goydos has plenty of playing chops, having won on the old Ben Hogan Tour, the PGA Tour and the Champions Tour. He has two wins on the big tour and famously came within a whisker of winning the 2008 Players Championship, falling to Sergio Garcia in a playoff. And he’s one of only 10 players to shoot 59 or better in a Tour event.

Besides, CBS needs an American voice on its telecasts to go with all of the accents – English (Nick Faldo), Australian (Ian Baker-Finch), New Zealander (Frank Nobilo) and South African (brothers Mark and Trevor Immelman).

Hire Goydos and look like a genius. Televised golf will be fun again. Finally.

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