U.S. Open 2019: Johnny Miller will be part of Fox's first-round coverage (Sort of)
Chris Condon/PGA Tour
PEBBLE BEACH — For the first time in five years, Johnny Miller will be a part of a U.S. Open broadcast. Well, sort of.
On Tuesday, Fox confirmed the two-time major champ and longtime NBC golf analyst will appear during Thursday's first-round coverage. But don't expect to hear Johnny talking about chunk-and-runs or players choking at Pebble Beach. Miller won't be calling the action, but rather answering questions during a sitdown interview with Fox Sports' Joel Klatt.
Still, it's a rare chance for golf fans to see Miller at the event he's most associated with, first with his epic comeback win at Oakmont in 1973 and then through his two decades in the booth at U.S. Opens until Fox acquired TV rights from the USGA beginning with the 2015 U.S. Open. And no one is looking forward to it more than Klatt, who has been part of Fox's golf coverage online since 2015, but moved into the role of TV reporter this year.
"So many adjectives come to mind," said Klatt, who is also Fox Sports' lead college football analyst. "Special. Surreal. It's as excited as I've been to talk with someone in a long time. You know, I get to talk to college football coaches all the time and people are always like, 'What's Urban Meyer like?' and I'm like, 'they're normal guys.' But for me, I'm a golf nut, so to meet Johnny Miller is going to be quite a thrill. And also, just to talk to someone who is as honest as Johnny is about the highest level of golf. I think that's what I'm most excited for, is to hopefully allow him the opportunity to say whatever he wants to say and not get in his way with things I want to ask him."
Miller worked for NBC for 29 years before signing off for a final time in February at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. In retirement from TV, the 72-year-old recently started doing a podcast with Callaway Golf. The live interview with Klatt will be during Fox's 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. local window on Thursday.
"You have things you're planning on asking, but I think the best interactions are the ones that are reciprocal. Listening to what he has to say and asking him questions beyond that," Klatt said of the interview. "My goal for that interaction, in particular, because golf fans really want to hear what Johnny has to say, I want to drive what Johnny wants to talk about and not have any agenda of my own about how I want to hear and how I want to hear it. So hopefully, that's accomplished on Thursday."
In other words, Johnny, you've been given a green-light special from Fox. We're looking forward to it as well.