ABC golf analyst Curtis Strange, 49, resigned last week, raising
the question, Who will replace him? No small part of the job is
maintaining a good relationship with Tiger Woods to get those
coveted postround interviews. (See: Kostis, Peter.) With that in
mind, here are seven people who could, or even should, sit in the
chair next to Mike Tirico.
Dick Vitale --ODDS: 250 TO 1
PROS: Would bring energy, bay-BEE!
CONS: Don't want to hear Ty Tryon called a diaper dandy.
X-FACTOR: Years of bootlicking should make it easy for him to
ingratiate himself with Tiger.
Paul Azinger --ODDS: 25 TO 1
PROS: Smart and opinionated and has some TV experience.
CONS: Has become oddly mediaphobic in recent years.
X-FACTOR: Cancer survivors aren't afraid to say slump.
Hal Sutton --ODDS: 6 TO 1
PROS: As Ryder Cup captain, has plenty of time and has already
evaluated most players.
CONS: Thick Southern accent and he was tentative during a few
tryouts with ABC earlier this year.
X-FACTOR: Outdueled Tiger at the 2000 Players.
Corey Pavin --ODDS: 5 TO 1
PROS: Has credibility and knowledge and impressed in a try-out as
an on-course commentator for ESPN earlier this year.
CONS: Looks like Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade.
X-FACTOR: Like Tiger, hails from Southern California.
Brandel Chamblee --ODDS: 20 TO 1
PROS: Humorous, good storyteller, well-versed in the game.
CONS: Quit as part-time ABC announcer last year to take full-time
gig with the Golf Channel.
X-FACTORS: Has great hair; knows Tiger.
Charles Barkley --ODDS: 100 TO 1
PROS: Funny, outspoken and would take the heat off Johnny Miller.
CONS: His swing would make Craig Parry puke.
X-FACTOR: Appears in golf-related commercials with Tiger.
Dennis Miller --ODDS: 75 TO 1
PROS: Failed on Monday night, but highbrow golf fans may get more
of his arcane references.
CONS: Already working full-time as George Bush's p.r. hack.
X-FACTOR: Wouldn't hesitate to call Tiger babe, as in "Tig, I
haven't seen driving that crooked since Grace Kelly ran out for a
pack of Luckys and a bottle of Orangina, babe."
COLOR PHOTO: BILL FRAKES (VITALE)
COLOR PHOTO: RON ANGLE/WIREIMAGE.COM (AZINGER)
COLOR PHOTO: ANDREW REDINGTON/GETTY IMAGES (SUTTON)
COLOR PHOTO: WALTER IOOSS JR. (BARKLEY)
COLOR PHOTO: DARREN CARROLL (CHAMBLEE)
COLOR PHOTO: AL MESSERSCHMIDT/WIREIMAGE.COM (PAVIN)
COLOR PHOTO: IDA MAE ASTUTE/ABC (MILLER)