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Nick Faldo received an emotional farewell from Ian Baker-Finch on Sunday at the Wyndham Championship, his final tournament as CBS Golf’s lead analyst.
It’s a weekend of lasts on the PGA Tour. The last tournament of the 2022 regular season. The last opportunity to claw into the FedEx Cup playoffs. The last chance to lock up a PGA Tour card for the 2023 season and beyond.
It’s also a weekend of lasts for the people broadcasting the PGA Tour. The Wyndham Championship is CBS’ final broadcast of the 2022 season — the last show before a much-deserved break for one of golf TV’s two weekend warriors — which also means it’s the final broadcast for one of CBS’ most beloved teammates, Nick Faldo.
Faldo announced in June his plans to retire from the CBS Golf booth at the conclusion of the 2022 season after 16 years next to Jim Nantz, citing a desire to take time with his family and, more presciently, to quiet his travel schedule for the first time in more than four decades.
It was a surprising decision from one of golf’s preeminent voices — even to those who worked closely with him. With so many weeks on the road, golf’s television production teams are one of the sport’s tightest-knit communities. In saying goodbye to his job, Faldo was also saying goodbye to some of his closest friendships.
“I am honored and humbled to have worked alongside all those in ‘The Team,’ which includes my good buddies, ‘the guys’ in the now Super Tower,” Faldo said. “Leaving a full schedule of broadcasting will now provide me the ability to entertain other opportunities and partnerships.”
On Sunday at the Wyndham, the CBS Golf team serenaded Sir Nick with a going-away celebration, sharing stories, laughs and more than a few tears. Early in the afternoon, it was Ian Baker-Finch who kicked things off.
“You taught me so much, and for that I’m grateful. I’m honored to have my name sandwiched between yours on the Claret Jug — ’90, ’91, ’92 — I look at that all the time with great pleasure,” Baker-Finch said. “The last two decades we’ve been paired together many times on various TV towers around the world, and in fact the last 16 years here at CBS.”
“I’m so sad to see you go,” he said, his voice cracking. “Like all of us here at CBS are so sad. Well boy, perhaps we’ll have the chance to be paired together on the Gallatin River in Montana with a Fly Rod instead of a golf club.”
Faldo could hardly hide his emotion.
“Cheers, mate,” Faldo squeaked out as tears rolled down his face.
It’s been a great honor.
A very emotional farewell to @NickFaldo006 from long-time playing partner and friend Ian Baker-Finch. pic.twitter.com/MNorK9qCVB
Then, as the broadcast reached its conclusion, it was Faldo’s closest teammate, Jim Nantz, who stepped to the podium.
“Congratulations, Sir Nick,” he said as the broadcast reached its final commercial break. “Let’s bring it home.”
“You know, folks, it’s rare for anyone to be the best in the world at one thing. But Nick, you’ve been the best in the world twice and that my friend is extraordinary,” Nantz continued as the broadcast briefly flipped through a highlight reel of Faldo’s finest moments. “The six majors, world number one ranking, and then in 2007 you join CBS and your second act as the world’s best. Thank you, Nick, for gracing this booth and our lives. Now you and Linds will go to your happy place. God bless you, Nick, thanks my friend.”
Once Nantz was done, the attention shifted back to Faldo, who could hardly form words through the tears.
“To the crew, as I affectionately and respectfully call you the workers. They put the pictures out, we do all the rattling, the easy job,” Faldo said. “Thank you all. I’m a single [inaudible], but I’ve found these three brothers. Thank you. Thank you. I’m ready.”
As the camera panned out, the three men surrounding Faldo gave him a standing ovation. The camera faded to black on that image — a well-deserved feat for one of golf’s great ambassadors.
James Colgan is an assistant editor at GOLF, contributing stories for the website and magazine. He writes the Hot Mic, GOLF’s weekly media column, and utilizes his broadcast experience across the brand’s social media and video platforms. A 2019 graduate of Syracuse University, James — and evidently, his golf game — is still defrosting from four years in the snow. Prior to joining GOLF, James was a caddie scholarship recipient (and astute looper) on Long Island, where he is from. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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