Confirmed: By Johnny Miller, in an interview posted Monday night to GolfChannel.com, that he will retire as a golf analyst with NBC Sports early next year. The news first was reported Monday afternoon by Golfweek.com, which cited no sources. Miller, 71, spent 29 years as NBC’s lead golf analyst, building a reputation for sharp opinions that often tweaked the PGA Tour players. Yet, Miller proved himself as one of the top players of his generation. He won 25 PGA Tour titles, including the 1973 U.S. Open and the 1976 British Open. Miller’s final event will be the Waste Management Phoenix Open on Jan. 31-Feb. 3. Miller won the Phoenix Open in 1974 and 1975. In its unbylined report, GolfChannel.com, which is owned by NBC, did not name Miller’s successor. Golfweek.com reported that it will be Paul Azinger, a 12-time winner on Tour and architect of the Americans’ 2008 Ryder Cup champions. Azinger will remain with Fox Sports for its coverage of the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, according to Golfweek.
Published: By the USGA and R&A, the finalized interpretation on the use of green-reading materials, which take effect Jan. 1 (details). The new interpretation of Rule 4.3 (“Use of Equipment”), which followed a six-week period of feedback, imposes these restrictions on the size of an image of a putting green, to a scale of 3/8ths of an inch to 5 yards (1:480) or smaller. The USGA’s objective, according to Thomas Pagel, the senior managing director of governance, was to identify “a clear interpretation that protects the essential skill of reading a green, while still allowing for information that helps golfers enjoy the game.” (Commentary: “Proposed green-reading limits miss mark,” Aug. 1.)
Cited: Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., a site of past major championships and the 2031 Ryder Cup, for the improper removal of 20,000 feet of tree canopy, The Washington Post reported. Local regulations require a sediment-control permit if more than 5,000 square feet of tree canopy is removed. An anonymous club member triggered the investigation by alerting an environmental group that about 1,000 trees were cut down across the 358-acre site. The club told the Post that it is working on securing the permit.
Scheduled: A Jan. 15 trial date in Ames, Iowa, for Collin Daniel Richards, 22, a local drifter, in the death of former Iowa State golfer Celia Barquin Arozamena (“In the news,” Sept. 19), the Associated Press reported. Richards entered a plea of not guilty. Barquin, 22, a Spaniard and the reigning Big 12 Conference champion who was completing her studies in civil engineering, was slain Sept. 17 while she was playing a solo round of golf in Ames. If convicted of first-degree murder, Richards would face life in prison without the possibility of parole.