Geoff Ogilvy ‘dipping a toe’ into TV this week with ESPN and answers the question could it lead to an even bigger role with NBC?

AUGUSTA, Ga. — It’s been nearly a decade since Geoff Ogilvy last was a playing contestant in the Masters but he’s back this week to do television and was a popular figure under the famous oak tree Monday.

The past U.S. Open champion and eight-time PGA Tour winner is joining the ESPN coverage team and will appear as an analyst on SportsCenter all week from the event.

“This opportunity came along and I thought, ‘This is pretty good,’ ” said Ogilvy. “It’s dipping the toe in the ocean without fully committing.”

There was speculation that Ogilvy, widely regarded as one of the top quotes among players and an avid reader on golf history who has branched out into the golf course design business, was a top candidate to replace Paul Azinger as the lead analyst for NBC Sports, but Ogilvy has politely declined so far.

“NBC was scratching around but that doesn’t feel right at the moment. I’m not ready to commit to 20 weeks,” he told Golfweek on Monday.

Ogilvy, 46, had a legit chance to win a Green Jacket in 2011, finishing T-4. He still has limited status on the PGA Tour as a past champion and he’s not ready to hang up the spikes and trade in holing putts potentially worth millions for a microphone. He’d like to see if he can still compete against the young pups on Tour and prepare for PGA Tour Champions when he becomes eligible in a little more than three years. So far, he’s been able to make just one start this season at the Puerto Rico Open, where he missed the cut.

“I’d prefer if I can play although it doesn’t look like I’m going to get very many starts, but you never know,” said Ogilvy, who speculated he might go play some on the DP World Tour to help fill his playing schedule.

Asked why he didn’t take a spin in the lead analyst chair during NBC’s portion of the broadcast schedule leading up to the Masters, Ogilvy said he hasn’t closed a door to the idea but the timing just isn’t right.

“It’s not like I turned down the job,” he said. “The job might be there but it wasn’t like it was there, you know? I’m just not ready to commit to half the year.”

But golf fans will get a taste of just how good his analysis and insights can be this week during ESPN’s coverage and if all goes well, he should assume a similar role during the PGA Championship in May at Valhalla.

“That’s the plan,” he said.

Story originally appeared on GolfWeek