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NBC tabs Ryder Cup hero Paul McGinley as temporary Paul Azinger fill-in

November 26, 2023

Mike Ehrmann

Paul McGinley will step in as temporary lead analyst for NBC Sports’ golf coverage this week at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas. Golf Digest has confirmed the news first reported by The Independent in Ireland.

McGinley, 56, is a four-time European Tour winner best known for his captaincy at the 2014 Ryder Cup, where he led the Europeans to a resounding victory. The Irishman has previously appeared on Golf Channel’s “Live From” show, which is owned by NBC, and also appears in Sky Sports’ golf coverage. McGinley reportedly will work alongside NBC play-by-play commentator Dan Hicks and analyst Curt Byrum.

According to the Independent, “McGinley's [TV] future will likely depend on how he does in the Bahamas and future events over the next few months.” McGinley has received kudos for his commentary on "Live From" as he often gets into spirited golf debates with fellow commentators Rich Lerner and Brandel Chamblee.

When reached for comment, McGinley told Golf Digest: “They obviously need a fill-in this week and as I’ve done some work with them this year and am part of the Comcast Group I’m filling in. That’s all. No more than that.”

The news comes a week after NBC opted not to renew Paul Azinger’s contract. Azinger had been NBC Sports’ lead analyst since 2019 following the retirement of Johnny Miller. “I have treasured working beside Dan Hicks and the other talented NBC broadcasters as well as lead producer Tommy Roy and all those behind the scenes,” Azinger said in a statement. “They are a remarkable team, and I will miss them tremendously. My thanks to them and the countless others who have supported me and helped me along the way during my work in television. I have faith in what the future holds for me, for NBC, and for the great game of golf.”

Sources have told Golf Digest the move is part of a larger overhaul of NBC Sports’ golf coverage, with more changes possibly coming to the company’s Golf Channel brand.

The Hero World Challenge begins Nov. 30. Tiger Woods will be making his first competitive start at the event since withdrawing from the Masters with injury.