“Back to me, Nick.” “No, back to me, Johnny.” (*Update)
By Stephanie Wei under PGA Tour

Faldo and Miller together? They're gonna need a bigger booth!

Nick Faldo and Johnny Miller, arguably golf’s two most opinionated analysts, will appear together in Golf Channel’s season-opening Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, according to USA Today‘s Michael Hiestand. (Wait, Johnny is actually doing cable??) Which should certainly be intriguing — I don’t have to tell you that this could turn into really, really good television or a complete trainwreck. Either way, I think it’s a win-win and you now have a reason to watch golf in the first week of the year.

Here’s this from Hiestand’s report:

But if asked if next month’s experiment will lead to the them being paired together more, GC president Mike McCarley offers a word-picture you rarely associate with TV golf: “We’ll see how it works, what kind of hijinks ensue.…We’ll have to check if it’s safe to release these two into the wild.”

McCarley suggests Miller, “like any great analyst, lacks a filter between his brain and mouth so you never know what will come out — but you know it will be interesting.” But Faldo, in the one time he worked briefly on-air with Miller, showed he can be candid. At the 2002 Ryder Cup, Faldo was working for a British TV and showed up at NBC for brief cameos with Miller. After Miller sarcastically noted that players appreciated his analysis of how they handled pressure, Faldo suggested players would appreciate it if “we could just dangle you out of the window.”

Oh, snaps!

*Update: the press release from Golf Channel:

Golf Channel to Air 17 ½ Live Hours in Primetime of Season-Opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions

First Three Tournaments in 2012 Exclusively on Golf Channel

ORLANDO, Fla. (Dec. 19, 2011) – Johnny Miller and Sir Nick Faldo, who share eight major championship titles and are the two preeminent names in golf television today, will work an entire tournament together as co-analysts for the first time at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, Jan. 6-9, the PGA TOUR’s 2012 season kick off exclusively on Golf Channel.

Following a record year of ratings milestones, which currently has Golf Channel on pace for its most-watched year ever, the Hyundai Tournament of Champions – which will finish on a Monday night in primetime for the first time – will be the first of three consecutive tournaments covered exclusively by Golf Channel to begin the year (Sony Open in Hawaii, Jan. 12-15; Humana Challenge in Partnership with the Clinton Foundation, Jan. 19-22). The Sony Open also will air in primetime from Hawaii.

Miller: “It’s great repartee when Nick and I are together. It’s kind of an older brother-younger brother dynamic. We’re not afraid to challenge each other.”

Faldo: “I was really looking forward to a stress-free start to the new season. Now this news. Oh well, never mind. At least I’ve got two weeks in Hawaii watching the PGA TOUR, and let’s just say some lively debate. Should be fun.”

Miller, a veteran of NBC Sports’ golf coverage since 1990, and Faldo, lead analyst for PGA TOUR coverage on Golf Channel and CBS since 2007, will join Golf Channel on NBC play-by-play commentator Dan Hicks in the booth for all four days of 2012’s inaugural tournament. Golf Channel’s exclusive coverage will begin Thursday, Jan. 5, with a special two-hour edition of Golf Central from Maui, Hawaii, which will preview the Hyundai Tournament of Champions with player interviews, and participation from Golf Channel and Golf Channel on NBC personalities, including Miller and Faldo.

Golf Channel’s coverage of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions will include 17 ½ live hours from Hawaii – with the majority in primetime. Joining Hicks, Miller and Faldo for the telecast will be Terry Gannon, Frank Nobilo, Mark Rolfing, Jerry Foltz, Curt Byrum and Kelly Tilghman.

Golf Channel TV Times for Hyundai Tournament of Champions (all times Eastern):

Thursday, Jan. 5
Golf Central Special 6-8 p.m. (live)

Friday, Jan. 6
Golf Central Pre Game 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Round 1 (live) 5:30-10 p.m.
Golf Central 10-10:30 p.m.
Round 1 (replay) 10:30 p.m.-3 a.m.

Saturday, Jan. 7
Golf Central Pre Game 5-5:30 p.m.
Round 2 (live) 5:30-10 p.m.
Golf Central 10-10:30 p.m.
Round 2 (replay) 10:30 p.m.-3 a.m.

Sunday, Jan. 8
Golf Central Pre Game 5-5:30 p.m.
Round 3 (live) 5:30-10 p.m.
Golf Central 10-10:30 p.m.
Round 3 (replay) 10:30 p.m.-3 a.m.

Monday, Jan. 9
Golf Central Pre Game 3-4 p.m.
Final Round (live) 4-8 p.m.
Golf Central 8-9 p.m.
Final Round (replay) 9 p.m.-1 a.m.

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