Did Jim Nantz take a LIV Golf swipe at Masters? He explains the call

Jim Nantz earlier this month during the NCAA men's basketball title game.

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Jim Nantz says he was “maybe being a little cheeky.”

But no, the longtime CBS announcer said this week on the SI Media with Jimmy Traina podcast, he was not taking a shot at LIV Golf, the CW Network or Brooks Koepka at last week’s Masters

Nantz’s call in question came last Sunday, during the completion of the third round at Augusta National. It was just nine words. But first some quick background. The PGA Tour is in a fight with LIV. And the former is broadcast by CBS; the latter by the CW. And Koepka had played on the Tour before leaving for LIV last year. And Koepka hit his second shot on the par-5 15th at Augusta onto a patron-crossing area. 

And then Nantz said this: 

“There he is right on the C.W.” He paused. “The crosswalk.”

And folks couldn’t log on to the world wide web quick enough. But Nantz said on the podcast it was all in fun. 

Here is the complete exchange:

“Let me get this out of the way first, because I know you’re not a big social media, internet guy,” Traina began. “But you know you set Twitter ablaze with a line that you had on Brooks Koepka when he hit a shot into a crosswalk, and you said, right on the CW. And everyone said Jim Nantz is taking a shot at LIV. And I said of every broadcaster I know, Jim Nantz is probably the last one who would do that. And then I was like, I kind of hope he was doing that because it would, you know, we’d have a new thought about Jim Nantz. Give us the backstory on the right on the CW there, because everyone — the headlines are all over the place: Jim Nantz takes shot.” 

“I’m honestly shocked that there was any kind of reaction to it,” Nantz said. “First off, we were on for 29 hours, either taping or being on the air. So, for the Masters to be summed up in a throwaway line for me on a Sunday morning — I find it all pretty amazing, what people latch on to.

“It definitely was not a shot. It just was something that I could see for the first time that his second shot at 15 had ended up on the crosswalk. And that’s a rarity, you see a player on the crosswalk. It’s just the way my brain works, sometimes.

“I said that, ‘There he is on the C.W., the crosswalk.’ I was just, maybe being a little cheeky. I certainly didn’t mean it to be a shot. It was not a shot at all. Maybe it was just trying to be a little whimsical.

“But, you know, the bottom line is, I think that we showed every golfer in that field last week a tremendous amount of respect, no matter what tour where they’re playing. And there certainly wasn’t an attempt to create any sharper edge or division between the game.

“To me it was, it was a nothing. It was just — what is it that Al [Michaels] says sometimes — he has a little bit of a rascal in him. Now, if you get to know me a little bit, and I’m talking about off the air, that’s a lot more of the kind of the way I communicate with people than maybe what you might think if you watch my broadcasting. It was meant to be, a nothing, basically. It was just on the crosswalk.”

Traina then asked: “So was it a reference to the network in a cheeky way and not as a shot, or you weren’t even thinking about the CW Network?”

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“I really wasn’t even thinking about it,” Nantz said. “You know, the CW has certainly got a lot of attention because of its alliance now with taking the, what would you call it, time buy, from the other tour. You’re overthinking it right now, Jimmy, let’s just put it that way.”

Also on the podcast, Nantz denied rumors that CBS deliberately restrained its coverage of LIV players during the Masters. The thought picked up steam after some believed Phil Mickelson disappeared from final-round coverage, despite shooting a seven-under 65 and tying for second (with Koepka). 

“At the end, the leaderboard looks like, ‘Well, he should have gotten that much coverage because he finished second,’” Nantz said. “But you don’t know how it’s all going to play out in the end. There was no effort at all by anybody at CBS to treat anyone any differently.”

Editor’s note: To listen to the entire podcast with Nantz, please click here.

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Nick Piastowski

Nick Piastowski

Golf.com Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at Golf.com and Golf Magazine. In his role, he is responsible for editing, writing and developing stories across the golf space. And when he’s not writing about ways to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native is probably playing the game, hitting the ball left, right and short, and drinking a cold beer to wash away his score. You can reach out to him about any of these topics — his stories, his game or his beers — at nick.piastowski@golf.com.