July 12--Johnny Miller is ready to give up his headset and platform jus tyet.
The veteran golf analyst and two-time major champion told the Associated Press that he will work for NBC at least one more year, which means one more Players Championship, along with NBC's other telecasts.
Miller had hinted this might be his final year and mentioned wanting to spend more time with his 23 grandchildren. But he told the AP that he still believes he's got something to offer viewers.
"I wasn't sure if it was going to be last year or whether I'd do a couple of more, but I'm doing the Open next year also," the 70-year-old Miller said. "I'm having a little bit of a battle of what my priorities are. I have a lot of things to pass on to my grandkids, whether it's fishing or being a grandpa. On the other hand, my brain is still working pretty good. All these years of announcing, I feel like I haven't slipped any. And NBC seems to like having me.
"I'm surprised that there aren't some guys waiting in the wings," he said. "It's been a good run and I'll continue for whatever."
Miller signed a three-year extension through 2017, though he had an option for next year.
This is his 28th year working for NBC. Miller will be the lead analyst next week for the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, where he won the claret jug in 1976 with a six-shot victory over 19-year-old Seve Ballesteros and Jack Nicklaus.
"Not everybody loves the way I announce. I know that," Miller said. "But they know it's rare these days for someone to say what they think, and that's sort of where I've come from. Just talking on the phone, you get what I think. I'm not afraid of hurt someone's feelings."
Scottish Open welcomes elite field
The marquee golf event in the world this week is clearly the Scottish Open, at Dundonald Links.
World top-10 players Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Rickie Fowler and Alex Noren lead the field, while the PGA Tour's John Deere Classic has none. In addition, the John Deere's $5.6 million purse is the smallest for a tournament offering the full 500 FedEx Cup points for the winner, while the Scottish Open is offering up $7 million.
The Open Championship is offering three spots to players not already exempt, based on their finish at Dundonald.
Also playing are Adam Scott, Patrick Reed, Jason Dufner, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell, Stewart Cink and Ian Poulter. Area players in the field are Matt Kuchar of St. Simons Island, Ga., Russell Knox of Jacksonville Beach, David Lingmerth of Ponte Vedra Beach, Julian Suri of St. Augustine and former University of North Florida player Felipe Aguilar.
Suri, a Bartram Trail graduate, qualified for the Open Championship last week. He leads the European Challenge Tour money list.
Spieth goes back down under
Jordan Spieth is returning to the Australian Open Nov. 23-26 at The Australian Golf Club in an attempt to win the Stonehaven Cup for the third time in four years.
Golf Australia made the announcement on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old Spieth won the Australian Open at The Australian in 2014 with a 63 on the final day. He narrowly missed a playoff at the same venue in 2015 when he finished tied for second with Scott, a shot behind Matt Jones.
He won the Australian Open last year at Royal Sydney after a three-way playoff.
Spieth credited his win at The Australian in 2014 with giving him confidence for a stellar 2015, which included wins at the Masters and U.S. Open and a rise to No. 1 in the rankings.
Closing birdie wins it
When Xander Schauffele birdied the par-3 18th hole at the TPC Old White Course last week to win the Greenbrier Classic, he became the fourth player to birdie the 72nd hole and win by one shot on the PGA Tour this season.
However, Schaffele was the first of those four to do it on a hole that is not a par-5. Brendan Steele (Safeway Open), Kevin Chappell (Valero Texas Open) and Brian Harman (Wells Fargo Championship) won with 4s on those closing holes.
Close to home
Ponte Vedra Beach resident Fred Funk will be only 40 miles away from his hometown of Takoma Park, Md., this week when he plays in the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship at the Caves Valley Golf Club in Baltimore.
Funk played golf and coached at the University of Maryland and is in the school's athletic hall of fame and the Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame.
He will add another enshrinement next year when he goes into the Middle Atlantic PGA Hall of Fame.
Event: John Deere Classic, Thursday-Sunday, TPC Deere Run, Silvis, Ill.
At stake: $5.6 million purse ($1,008,000 and 500 FedEx Cup points to the winner).
Defending champion: Ryan Moore.
TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 4-7 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30 p.m.); CBS (Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m.).
Area players entered: Jonathan Byrd, Bud Cauley, Matt Every, Brian Harman, Zach Johnson, Rick Lamb, Davis Love III, Sam Saunders, Steve Wheatcroft, Tim Wilkinson.
Notable: Moore, who hasn't played since the Memorial in May because of a shoulder injury, shot 65 in each of the first three rounds and went on to beat Ben Martin by two shots. ... Also playing are Bubba Watson, Steve Stricker, Kevin Kisner and Kevin Na. ... Anyone among the top-five not already eligible for the Open Championship will qualify for next week's tournament at Royal Birkdale.
Event: U.S. Women's Open, Thursday-Sunday, Trump National Golf Club, Bedminster, N.J.
At stake: $5 million purse ($900,000 to the winner).
Defending champion: Brittany Lang.
TV: FS1 (Thursday-Friday, 2-7 p.m.); Fox (Saturday-Sunday 2-7 p.m.).
Area players entered: Katie Burnett, Chella Choi.
Notable: Lang and Anna Nordqvist were tied at 282 at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif., before Lang won a three-hole playoff by three shots.
PGA Tour Champions
Event: Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship, Thursday-Sunday, Caves Valley Golf Club, Baltimore.
At stake: $2.8 million purse ($420,000 to the winner).
Defending champion: Bernhard Langer.
TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 1:30-4 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 3-6 p.m.).
Area players entered: Fred Funk, Vijay Singh.
Notable: Langer, who beat Joe Durant by one shot last year at the Philadelphia Cricket Club, has won the tournament four times in a row. The last player other than him to win it was U.S. Senior Open champion Kenny Perry in 2013 at Fox Chapel.
Event: Utah Championship, Thursday-Sunday, Thanksgiving Point Golf Club, Lehi, Utah.
At stake: $650,000 purse ($117,000 to the winner).
Defending champion: Nicholas Lindheim.
TV: Golf Channel (Thursday-Friday, 7-9 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 6-9 p.m.).
Area players entered: Chris Baker, Vince Covello, Roberto Diaz, Luke Guthrie, Ben Kohles, Len Mattiace.
Notable: Lindheim beat J.J. Spaun by two shots.
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