Another St. Louis native is about to take center stage in the world of golf. Joe Buck has been named as host of Fox’s U.S. Open telecast in 2015. The veteran broadcaster and native of St. Louis will work alongside Greg Norman in the 18th hole tower when Fox assumes the broadcast responsibility for our national championship.
Buck joins a cast that includes Tom O’Toole Jr. (USGA President), Jim Holtgrieve (Walker Cup Captain 2011 and 2013) and Ellen Port (2014 Curtis Cup Captain). O’Toole assumed the top USGA position in early 2014 and Ellen Port is currently in the final preparation phase for her debut as Curtis Cup Captain in early June as TEAM USA hosts the team from GB&I at St. Louis Country Club.
Buck should bring a unique perspective to this new role with Fox. Not only does Joe play the game, belonging to Old Warson Country Club in St. Louis, but he’s actually quite proficient. Side note – It was the team of Joe Buck and Harry Freeman that kept Back Nine Hosts Dustin Ashby and Tobin Lingafelter from winning their flight in the WingHaven Country Club Member Guest two years ago.
Shortly after the U.S. Open deal was announced and that Fox would be assuming the responsibility from NBC Sports effective 2015, rumors were swirling that Greg Norman would be offered the lead analyst job. While Norman has never announced golf on television, he is well known to golf fans for his performance in major championships. Unfortunately for Norman, despite having won multiple Open Championships, it’s his heartbreaking losses in 1996 and 1987 Masters that most golfer’s will remember. It is important for golf fans to remember that it was Greg Norman who held the record for the most weeks ranked as the No. 1 golfer in the world (331 weeks) only to be surpassed by Tiger Woods.
Buck is accustomed to working alongside analysts who aren’t scared to be candid, so working alongside the opinionated Norman shouldn’t be a new experience. Buck has teamed up with Troy Aikman (Football) and Tim McCarver (Baseball) in calling their respective sports biggest games (Super Bowl and World Series).
How Buck’s relationship with USGA President Tom O’Toole Jr. weaves its way into the broadcast will be something to watch. Buck, the consummate professional, will undoubtedly find a witty way to humanize golf’s top dog in USGA President, Tom O’Toole Jr.