More broadcast changes are coming to the NBC Sports/Golf Channel broadcast, according to multiple reports.
A month after longtime voices Roger Maltbie and Gary Koch saw their extended runs with the network come to an end, former PGA Tour players Brad Faxon and Smylie Kaufman are expected to fill the vacated roles. The news was first reported by Golfweek, with a source confirming the move to Golf Digest.
Faxon, 61, is an eight-time winner on the PGA Tour and known as one of the best putters in the history of the game, serving as a short-game whisperer to a number of pros including Rory McIlroy. He briefly worked for NBC Sports last decade, and was the lead golf analyst for FOX Sports’ US Open coverage for five years. Faxon has also been an on-air contributor to Sky Sports’ golf coverage in Europe and made a number of appearances last year on Golf Channel’s popular “Live From” show during its major coverage. Faxon is expected to take over a tower spot during the broadcast and continue to be a part of “Live From,” a source relayed.
Kaufman, 31, won the 2015 Shriners Open and is perhaps best known for playing in the final group at the 2016 Masters. The former LSU product has transitioned into broadcasting and worked for ESPN, Golf Channel and NBC’s Peacock channel last season, earning rave reviews for his on-course reporting. Kaufman is expected to be an on-course reporter in his new role.
Along with Maltbie and Koch, Kathryn Tappen is not expected to return to NBC Sports’ golf coverage in 2023, according to Golfweek and The Quadrilateral. Tappen served as the post-rounder interviewer this past year. Also stepping aside is Justin Leonard, who is expected to take a reduced role in favor of playing on the PGA Champions Tour.
In a statement to Golf Digest, an NBC Sports spokesperson said, “We’re focused on celebrating Roger Maltbie and Gary Koch at the PNC Championship later this month and will be announcing any additional changes to our lineup early in the new year.”