Jim Nantz recently announced he’ll call his final Final Four next spring.
So does the voice of the Masters have an idea when he’ll make his last drive down Magnolia Lane to cover the event for CBS Sports?
“The Masters, I would like to do it 51 times, as bizarre as that sounds,” he said during an appearance on the Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday. “My 51st Masters would be the 100th playing of the Masters. And, I’d like to be there to see the end of the first century. That’s just a little goal that I have in the back of my head.
“I’m through 37 right now, so 14 to go, hopefully.”
“Did you just announce your Masters retirement?” Patrick asked.
“I did,” Nantz said with a smile. (Though it should be noted that Nantz has been claiming this plan publicly for nearly 10 years ever since legendary broadcaster Jack Whitaker noted that the 2036 Masters would be the 100th playing of the tournament.)
If that holds, golf fans will get to hear Nantz, 63, repeat his Masters catchphrase “Hello, friends” 14 more times.
While he’s preparing to say goodbye to the premier event in college basketball, he plans to continue to call NFL games alongside Tony Romo on CBS “hopefully another decade or so. Or maybe a little beyond.”
But it’s Augusta National in April that’s nearest and dearest to him. He first worked the tournament in 1986, the year Jack Nicklaus won his sixth and final green jacket. He became host in 1989.
Finishing in 2036 on the centennial anniversary (the Masters, which debuted in 1934 wasn’t held from 1943-1945 during World War II) would be a fitting bookend to his golf announcing career.
“The Masters, to me, is the thing that is the deepest in my heart,” he said. “I’ve never chosen one sport as my favorite event to do but I think everyone knows that the Masters is something I feel a real personal tie to.
“It was the one event that when I was 11 years old I turned to my mom and dad and said ‘That’s what I’d like to do someday, I’d like to be one of those voices. … I want to do that.’ And I’ve been so fortunate that I’m still living that childhood dream even into my 60s so, it’s been pretty amazing.”