Which three holes will make or break golfers at the PGA Championship?
This week will be a busy one for CBS’ Jim Nantz, but the Charlotte-born sportscaster said he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Nantz, a three-time Emmy Award winner and five-time National Sportscaster of the Year, will be CBS’ lead announcer at the PGA Championship at Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Club.
His week will also include an NFL preseason practice broadcast Wednesday night at Bank of America Stadium with new CBS colleague Tony Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback. The Carolina Panthers will host the Texans.
But Nantz, who’s in his 32nd year at the network, said his busy schedule will be worth it because Charlotte will be on the national stage.
“Charlotte is a very special place and very important to my life,” said Nantz, 58. “I was born there and my whole family hails from Charlotte. I have a lot of family and friends in the area. I’m thrilled to see Charlotte have a light shining on it (this) week.”
Nantz’s homecoming comes at the opportune time for Charlotte and golf, he said. Charlotte will host one of the sport’s four majors for the first time.
The last time North Carolina was host to a major was in 2014, when Pinehurst Resort held the U.S. Open. Pinehurst also hosted the U.S. Open in 2005 and 1999 and the PGA Championship in 1936. In 1974, the PGA Championship was played at Tanglewood Golf Club in Clemmons.
At this week’s PGA Championship, 24-year-old Jordan Spieth will try to become the youngest player to complete golf’s career grand slam - winning all four major tournaments. Only five players - Ben Hogan, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Gene Sarazen and Tiger Woods - have won the grand slam.
“It’s just the way things fall into play,” Nantz said of Spieth chasing history. “I’m so happy for Charlotte and for all the people involved in that golf community. They're getting the big one. They’re not only getting a PGA Championship, but they're getting one of the most historic moments in the history of the sport.”
Nantz said Quail Hollow is the perfect venue to host the tournament. It annually holds the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship, which has produced such winners as Woods, a 14-time major champion who won in 2007. Three-time majors champion Rory McIlroy captured his first U.S. tournament victory there in 2010 before winning it again at Quail in 2015.
Temperatures during the tournament are expected to surpass 80 degrees, but rain is also in the forecast. Nantz said the weather, and the drama the course often produces, should make things interesting.
“Quail Hollow has produced some thrilling action,” he said. “The 14th hole has a lot of drama and so does 15. We saw it with Rory the year he won (it in 2010). He shot 62 (in the final round) and he made eagle there. It is dynamic. It is a course that is loaded with all kinds of drama.”
Tournament officials expect more than 200,000 people to attend. More than 800 media members were credentialed and the tournament will be broadcast in more than 200 countries. Nantz said he’s especially excited to broadcast the event, and he said he and his crew will be prepared to tell the best story possible..
“We know our way around Charlotte,” Nantz said. “We know Quail Hollow – we know every nook and cranny of that club – and it was meant to be for us to be broadcasting the PGA Championship there on this great occasion.”