Johnny Miller and Nick Faldo broadcast the first round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions [AP Photo]
The Golf Channel added some needed spice to its broadcast of the champion-challenged Hyundai Tournament of Champions (Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson all passed on the event) by putting the network’s regular color commentator Nick Faldo in the booth with Johnny Miller of NBC. (Comcast now owns both Golf Channel and NBC.)
Here are some of their best exchanges, courtesy of the Golf Channel.
Hyundai Tournament of Champions Johnny Miller and Nick Faldo Quotes Round 1
Dan Hicks: Pretty civilized start between you guys.
Nick Faldo: We’re just warming up.
Johnny Miller: Sort of like the first round, just a few little taps.
Nick Faldo: Yep, just feeling it out.
On being inducted in the HOF together
Miller: It was very exciting. Every player was there, and that has never happened before. So we were really lucky. And we both got the 75% vote, which hasn’t happened very often since then.
Faldo: He knows his stats. What does 75% vote mean?
Miller: Well, it means they thought you were pretty good.
On the Plantation Course
Miller: When they built this course, they built it to handle wind. Big greens, big fairways, like the 18th hole has a 90-yard wide fairway, so you can sort of bomb it around on a lot of the holes.
Faldo: [Shaking his head] See, he is exaggerating already. 74.
Miller: I walked it this morning.
Faldo: I’ve got 74 and you’ve got 90.
Miller: Well you’ve got those little short English legs.
Hicks: Just a taste folks. It’s going to be a long ride.
Faldo: Did you used to go paddle boarding and surfing when you used to play your events, Johnny?
Faldo: I didn’t either.
Miller: I did a little fishing but that’s it.
Faldo: Well, at least if you go fishing, the worst that can happen is you get the fly stuck in the back of your head.
Miller: Yeah, that’s not the worst thing, is it?
On Bill Haas winning the Tour Championship
Hicks: I will never forget there was that drought in Atlanta, had there not been that drought for several weeks, that water would have been up on the bank and Bill Haas’ miraculous shot…Hunter Mahan would have been hoisting the trophy.
Faldo: That’s destiny, isn’t it.
Miller: Yep. I don’t know about that but I’ll go with it.
Faldo: Well it is. Things are going to happen in life for it to then happen, isn’t it? If it rained more he wouldn’t be here. With his 10 million dollars, he was building a house and they couldn’t decide about a pool in the back garden, and obviously that 10 million bucks made that a very easy decision.
Miller: Ok Sir Nick, that is enough of that.
Faldo: What? That’s how it happened. That’s how he got a swimming pool.
On the Plantation Course at Kapalua
Terry Gannon: It can sneak up on you though, with the wind, especially the opening holes here, if you take it for granted, Nick.
Faldo: Absolutely. It’s very interesting. Johnny sounds so good folks, he’s got all of these stats in front of him. All of these numbers.
Miller: Hey, what’s wrong with that?
Gannon: And here is what Faldo has in front of him.
Faldo: Yep, here is my information for the week [holds a Golf Channel coffee mug].
Breaking down Keegan Bradley’s swing in slow-motion
Faldo: Let’s have a look at this in close-up. Look at his lower back.
Miller: Low hands.
Faldo: Low hands, but the most important thing is his lower back and lower spine angle. He sets that pretty steep, just like you, Johnny, on your back swing.
Miller: Yeah I was going to say that looks familiar.
Faldo: Actually, that is you, we just cut your head off.
Miller: He braces that right leg at the top of the back swing.
Faldo: And he just feeds into it and traps the ball beautifully and cleared his way out.
Miller: The right hip at the two position coming down perfectly.
Faldo: Geez, that is a lot of information.
Miller: Hey, you know, we’re just saying what we see that’s all.
On Scott Stallings
Faldo: He’s a great story. He went to Augusta. He was so inspired obviously by the Masters. He took a Masters pencil, you know, the Augusta National pencil. And he has used the same pencil ever since. He uses that all of the time. That was his inspiration to win the Greenbrier. He was visualizing getting back to the Masters.
Hicks: See guys, just some of the tidbits you can have even without a handful of notes up here.
Miller: Yeah, it helps when you have won it three times too.
On Bubba Watson’s drive on 18 rolling down the fairway
Mark Rolfing: You can do a commercial break on one of these.
Faldo: Or you could just listen to us talking about how much the ball is rolling end over end.
Miller: And by the way Nick, I walked that twice today, it is 90 yards wide.
On Keegan Bradley teeing off at 18
Rolfing: He is looking at the chimneys. See the clubhouse there in the distance? There are two chimneys. The line is the chimney on the right. That is exactly where he is looking.
Faldo: Mark, what did the big chimney say to the little chimney?
Miller: Oh, here we go, this English humor.
Faldo: You are a little too young to smoke.
Rolfing: Johnny, are you laughing at him or with him?
Miller: I was thinking I was back in elementary school, I wasn’t sure.
Faldo: Gotta entertain the children.
On the 18th hole at the Plantation Course
Rolfing: It is a huge elevation change going down. There is a difference of opinion whether the fairway is 90 yards of 76 between Johnny and Nick, but it’s wide.
Miller: What do you expect, an NBC guy to get along with a CBS guy?
Rolfing: I hope you guys do. We are all in here for four days. On watching surfers in the ocean:
Miller: Would you like to be that guy?
Faldo: I’d like to be able to do that. That is pretty darn cool.
Miller: Would you give up one of your Masters titles for that?
Faldo: Nuh-uh. Nuh-uh.
On the Hyundai Tournament of Champions
Hicks: If you don’t get off to a good start, you have this beautiful surf behind you. People with their families over here. It is an interesting mix of pleasure and business.
Miller: Well. let’s put it this way. There’s not too many players without their wives or family. If they left them home, there is a little problem, I think.
Faldo: Marriage guidance by Johnny Miller.
Hyundai Tournament of Champions Johnny Miller and Nick Faldo Quotes Round 2
Top of the Show
Dan Hicks: Guys, pretty much incident-free through day one. Nick you didn’t even get a chance to cut Johnny’s cable.
Nick Faldo: Best buddies.
Hicks: It was fun.
Faldo: Yeah, good day.
Hicks: But I think it is going to intensify as the round goes on. I’ve got a feeling
Johnny Miller: It’s got to come naturally, though, right.
Faldo: We are going to go with the intensity, which is from the player. We will respond that way. If they are jumpy and are having a few fights out there, I think we will.
On Jonathan Byrd
Hicks: He’s got some Johnny Miller pants of yester-year on.
Miller: Yeah, they just never go away.
Hicks: Nick went plaid a few times as well.
Faldo: I wore plaid. Ever watch Johnny at Troon? I was there as a young kid in the crowd.
Miller: Oh yeah, didn’t match though.
Faldo: Didn’t match and that is what was wrong.
On Webb Simpson’s pitch at the 15th hole at the Plantation Course
Miller: Look at how close that right toe is to the ball. He puts it right on the ball, and it is just a real quick little flick, as probably Nick would say. They probably have a word for that in England. What is that shot, quick flick?
Faldo: Quick flick is very good, Johnny.
Hicks: You know, you are rubbing off on Johnny here. As the golf broadcast season goes on here, you might hear traces of some Nick-isms in Johnny’s vernacular.
Faldo: I’ll have him talking English by the time we are finished this week.
Hicks: Johnny has his own language.
Miller: That’s right, I’ve got my own way of doing things.
Miller: I have about 50 swear words that are not swear words.
Faldo: That’s useful.
On the Maui scenery
Hicks: Well, Nick and Johnny, I believe it was close to 60 degrees in Central Park, New York, today, so we’re not going to wow you. But, pretty unbelievable scenery Nick, and you have been coming here for years. It never gets old.
Faldo: And now we have got this plane that we can see these aerial shots. It’s quite amazing. All of these natural things. We have got the rainforests on top of the hill and we have got the whales…
Hicks: Has it all distracted you from Johnny?
Faldo: It makes Johnny look way more beautiful than he really is.
Hicks: I can’t top that.
On Nick and Johnny shooting 63s
Hicks: Johnny, you had 10. The great Jack Nicklaus had six. And Nick, do you care to venture what your number was?
Hicks: You did have one.
Faldo: Well, a really good one. No, wait, I had more than that. Oh, on the U.S. Tour, yes, but I’m an International golfer. I had a couple more of them.
Hicks: We do need to do a little more research.
Nick: Yeah, come on, come on.
Hicks: But you got Stricker and Johnny in the Major department.
Faldo: I shot a 62 up in Yorkshire, I did. I finished 64-62 to win.
Frank Nobilo: The Lawrence Batley International.
Faldo: That’s right, the Lawrence Batley International.
Miller: I’ll just let the facts state just what it is.
Faldo: At least we’ve shot 63, Johnny, in Majors, so that’s all right.
Miller: Yeah, that’s true.
Faldo: We just don’t want anybody to shoot a 62 in a Major, we want to just keep that record.
Miller: Nah, I don’t care.
Miller: You can have it.
Faldo: Oh, no, I want to keep that one.
Miller: I had enough fun in my career. I would have liked to have won a couple more majors, but it was fun walking up that 18th hole 25 times for the win.