She’s playing in the U.S. Women’s Open … and broadcasting it
There’s a honeymoon period that joins every twentysomething’s first real job. There is not, however, a job that joins every twentysomething’s honeymoon. Let alone, as with budding golf broadcast star Emilia Migliaccio, two of them.
“People keep asking us, is this your honeymoon?” she said with a laugh from her hotel at stunning Pebble Beach on Monday morning. “At this point, we’ve just started to say yes.”
Migliaccio and her new husband Charlie are just hours away from one of the busiest weeks of their young lives. But, in the meantime, they’re living out the wildest dreams of every diehard golf couple: an all-expenses-paid two-week vacation to a slice of golf heaven called Monterrey, Calif. on the heels of their wedding day.
“We actually left two days after the wedding,” Migliaccio said, shortly before rattling off a list of tee times the couple has played since last Monday that includes Pebble Beach, Monterrey Peninsula Country Club, Spyglass Hill and, most recently, the west coast’s granddaddy golf course, Cypress Point.
“It was a very generous wedding gift,” she said. “It feels like we’ve been out here for a month now, we’ve just done so many incredible things.”
The days are only going to get longer from here for Emilia, the 24-year-old Wake Forest graduate and reigning NCAA women’s golf champion. Come Thursday, the honeymoon will quickly come crashing back to earth when Migliaccio begins the first of four long days working two jobs at the U.S. Women’s Open.
The first: broadcaster for NBC Golf’s featured group coverage. The second: competitor in the national championship.
Migliaccio’s USWO double-feature is believed to be a first in golf broadcasting, where post-round appearances from players are commonplace but post-round broadcast assignments are not.
“I saw Christie Kerr the other day, and she kept telling me, you need to rest,” Migliaccio says. “She keeps saying to me, anytime you have free time, you need to rest.”
Rest, it should not surprise you to learn, does not come easily. The origin of Migliaccio’s wild week would seem to be a combination of good fortune and good golf — two things that have come in droves since her out-of-nowhere runner-up finish at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in 2021 helped to put her golf career back on the map. After that finish, Migliaccio went back to school for two post-graduate years and found herself both a fixture of the Wake Forest and U.S. Curtis Cup teams, winning both the Cup and the NCAA team championship in the last 12 months.
The timing couldn’t have been better for Migliaccio’s off-course efforts. A voracious reader and razor-sharp communicator, she’d long dreamt of a career as a golf writer or broadcaster. She parlayed her success at the ANWA into an internship at Golf Channel, where some tactful introductions led to her first live performance for the network. As her stretch of good golf continued, the opportunities from NBC piled up. Before long, she’d received an invitation to cover this year’s U.S. Women’s Open, at Pebble Beach, for the network.
But there was a problem: Migliaccio was scheduled to play in a qualifier in the event, and like every U.S. Open qualifying hopeful, there remained a chance — however small — that she could nab one of a handful of spots in the field reserved for qualifiers. Out of an abundance of caution, she asked an NBC production coordinator if she would be allowed to compete in the event and work for NBC. He laughed.
“We’d love it.”
Qualifying day came, and Migliaccio arrived at Starmount Country Club in Greensboro with a bundle of confidence. What followed, she says, was pure magic.
“I was in such a flow state that day. I mean, I just hit everything so good,” she said. “I hit 36 greens.”
She shot 68-65 in the 36-hole qualifier and quickly realized her work at the U.S. Women’s Open had doubled. Not only would she be heading to Pebble Beach on the heels of her wedding for a massive week with NBC, she’d also be competing in the biggest event in women’s golf at one of the most famous courses in the world.
“I don’t think the feeling of doing double duty has really hit me, didn’t hit me in the eye when I qualified,” she said. “I was really excited that I was going, oh my gosh, I’m gonna play and broadcast. I get to actually do what I really wanted to do. That was my goal, my dream, and I don’t think it’s gonna hit me until Thursday.”
And how will it look on Thursday? Mostly like chaos. Migliaccio will call featured groups on Peacock for most of the morning before turning her attention in the afternoon to the golf, where she has a 4:18 p.m. ET tee time. On Friday morning, she’ll handle her second-round playing duties before shifting over to Peacock again for featured groups coverage. In an ironic twist, the late-early tee time may prove an advantage for Emilia. Unlike most golfers, the short-succession rounds should help her do a better job of compartmentalizing.
“I think I’m doing a good job at compartmentalizing it,” she said. “I would say 80% of my preparation at this moment is preparing for the championship. But hopefully playing will also help me be a better commentator.”
It helps that she has some experience with doing this sort of thing. A similar situation played out at last year’s Curtis Cup, and again earlier this year at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. She would have already done U.S. Women’s Open double-duty if not for failing to qualify into last year’s tournament at Pine Needles.
These things have happened more to Migliaccio in the last 24 months than most people face in a lifetime, and there is a natural question that follows them: is it possible Emilia may be too good for broadcasting? She doesn’t think so.
“I’m just excited because the more the players can see my face, the more I’m able to develop those relationships,” she said. “They will learn I’m not just a broadcaster; I’m also a good player that just didn’t turn pro. So I’m hoping that continues so I continue to gain sort of respect from players from that.”
It’s hard to say what Migliaccio’s golf future holds, but she seems to have a clear head about the whole ordeal. She will be a member of the golf media, and not a professional golfer, in the long term. There will be no honeymoon period with professional golf on this honeymoon. Unless…
“Game’s good,” she said with a knowing chuckle. “Just as long as I can block everything else out. We’ll see.”
We will indeed.