Back in June, CBS announced long-time analyst Nick Faldo would be retiring from the network after 16 years with the company. Simultaneously, they announced 2008 Masters champ Trevor Immelman as his successor.
“I’m excited about Trevor,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said at the time. “He’s a great team player, [and] he has a definite perspective on the game of golf.”
The announcement of the changing of the guard was neat and tidy. And with a replacement already lined up, there was no time for the public to speculate on who might step into Faldo’s role.
But however simple the process looked from the outside, that was hardly the case for those in the know. According to McManus, the network “thought of everybody” when looking for the next lead analyst. But each time a new name popped up, they kept returning to Immelman as their top choice.
By mid-June, CBS had zeroed in on their man, and McManus gave Immelman a call to offer him the job.
“He said to me, ‘Well, Nick is retiring and we’ve decided that we want you to be the lead analyst,’” Immelman said on this week’s episode of GOLF’s Subpar. “I actually said to him, ‘You’re kidding, right?’”
Immelman said he knew the opening might be popping up, but the job was “not really on [his] radar.” Nevertheless, the former Masters champ was the man CBS wanted, and ultimately, the one they secured for the job.
“Incredibly humbled by that,” Immelman said. “It’s a spot that has only been held by four people before me — and you’re talking about absolute legends of the game when you’re talking about Sir Nick and Ken Venturi and Lanny Wadkins. Man, maybe it hasn’t even sunk in, to be honest … But it feels good when I think about it, I will say that.”
Check out the entire episode below.