“Chesson Hadley would be really good at that,” Balionis said. “I’m going to go with Chesson Hadley as my interviewer.”
Jon Rahm would be Nick Faldo. Jordan Spieth would be Ian Baker-Finch. Phil Mickelson “has to be up there.” Balionis, in her fourth year as the interviewer for CBS’ golf coverage, was light-heartedly asked on this week’s episode of GOLF’s Subpar podcast which PGA Tour players would best work on the other side of the camera as a broadcast team, and the answers were, not surprisingly, among the best talkers on Tour.
Balionis and co-hosts Colt Knost (also a member of the CBS team) and Drew Stoltz started in the booth. Rahm was the pick for lead analyst, currently held by Faldo. But what about the man typically to Faldo’s left, announcer Jim Nantz?
“I know who I’d go with,” Knost said.
“You do? Who would you go with?” Balionis said.
“Toss it out,” Stoltz said.
“Jordan Spieth? You think he would be the one?” Balionis asked.
“He’s the golden child,” Knost said. “He’s very well spoken.”
“He’d be good at directing traffic?” Balionis asked.
“Have you seen him out there on the golf course?” Knost said. “He’s directing everyone. Talking to his ball.”
“Yeah, OK. I feel like I would put Spieth on a hole,” Balionis said. “I’d put him at like 17 tower.”
What about the on-course reporters? CBS currently uses Dottie Pepper, brother Mark and Trevor Immelman and Knost in the role.
“I’m going to have Pat Perez walking,” Balionis said.
“Oh, god,” Knost said.
“There we go,” Stoltz said. “And we’re canceled.”
“Everyone’s fired,” Knost said.
“You got to have someone who’s going to shake it up a little bit, right?” Balionis said. “Colt’s that guy right now, where I’m like, OK, maybe, it’s almost too far but not quite. OK, we’re good. OK, we’re good.”
And for a second on-course reporter?
Justin Thomas, who already worked in the role alongside Balionis in May of 2020 during the second Match, between the team of Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning, and the team of Mickelson and Tom Brady.
“Oh my god, dude, he slayed,” Balionis said. “When we were there and he would look at me and he’s like, ‘Am I doing this right?’ I’m like, ‘Are you doing this right? You are a hall of famer already.’ It was insane.”
To watch the complete interview with Balionis, please click below.