With the start of the 2016 USGA championship season less than one month away, FOX Sports today announced its complete on-air roster, featuring the addition of several experienced contributors and highlighted by the addition of World Golf Hall of Famer and two-time U.S. Open Champion Curtis Strange as an on-course reporter and analyst. The announcement was made today by John Entz, President of Production and Executive Producer, FOX Sports, and Mark Loomis, Coordinating Producer for USGA studio and event production.
“When I think of the U.S. Open and the players who have defined the championship over the last 50 years, Curtis Strange is one of the first names that come to mind,” Loomis said. “Curtis has so much experience with USGA events, both as a player and broadcaster, and when we had the opportunity to add him to our team and have him on the fairway with the final group at the U.S. Open, it was an easy decision to make.”
A veteran of more than two decades on the PGA Tour, Strange won 17 tournaments during his accomplished career, highlighted by back-to-back victories at the 1988 and 1989 U.S. Opens, just the sixth player in history to accomplish the feat. One of professional golf’s premier competitors throughout the 1980s, Strange became the first player to top the $1 million earnings mark in a single season, notching a career-high four tournament victories and PGA Tour Player of the Year honors in 1988.
Nearing the conclusion of his full-time playing career, Strange made his first foray into broadcasting in 1995 as an analyst for ABC. He served in that role until 2004 and then rejoined ESPN/ABC in 2008. During those separate stints, Strange gained experience calling three of the four major championships – the Masters, the U.S. Open and The Open Championship – in addition to the 2010 and 2012 Ryder Cups.
In his new role for FOX Sports in 2016, Strange serves as an on-course reporter and analyst for the 116th U.S. Open Championship at Oakmont Country Club, the U.S. Senior Open at Scioto Country Club, the U.S. Amateur at Oakland Hills Country Club and the Men’s Amateur Four-Ball at Winged Foot Golf Club.
When the U.S. Open returns to Oakmont for a record ninth time, special contributor Bob Ford also joins the broadcast, providing insights and analysis of the course throughout the championship. A name synonymous with Oakmont, Ford joined the club’s staff in 1975 and became its head professional just four years later, a post he held until 2013 when he was elevated to director of golf. The 116th U.S. Open will be the seventh major championship contested at the course under Ford’s supervision, and his breadth of experience adds unmatched historical depth and knowledge to the broadcast.
Five-time Ryder Cup competitor and veteran golf commentator Ken Brown also joins FOX Sports’ U.S. Open coverage this year. A four-time European Tour winner, Brown began his broadcasting career in the FOX family of networks at Sky Sports in the early 1990s before moving to the BBC. Known for his humor, he achieved cult status among golf fans abroad in nearly two decades as an on-course reporter and analyst, a role he reprises with FOX Sports.
The final addition to FOX Sports’ 2016 U.S. Open roster is Golf World editor-in-chief Jaime Diaz. A recipient of the 2012 PGA Lifetime Achievement Award in Journalism, Diaz has covered over 100 major championships throughout his career and serves as a reporter for the U.S. Open, bringing decades of experience with him.
Play-by-play announcers Joe Buck and Shane O’Donoghue, analysts Mark Brooks, Jay Delsing, Brad Faxon, David Fay, Steve Flesch, Natalie Gulbis, Gil Hanse, Juli Inkster, Buddy Marucci and Scott McCarron, studio host Holly Sonders and interviewer Shane Bacon return to FOX Sports’ USGA broadcast team in 2016. Azinger makes his FOX Sports debut on May 24 at the Men’s Amateur Four-Ball.
“Entering our second year of USGA championship coverage, we are thrilled with the additions to our team,” said Entz. “There’s no doubt that the infusion of new personalities will kick off the year with excitement, and we look forward to working with everyone throughout the USGA championship season.”