As many golf fans know, Johnny Miller is retiring this week after 29 years in the NBC Sports 18th hole tower. He chose to end his long tenure at the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open, a tournament he won twice in his playing career.
"I've always had a great feeling about Arizona and I don' know what it is about Arizona but I just love being in Arizona -- maybe not in July, but I like Arizona," Miller said.
In 1975, Miller won the Phoenix Open and in Tuscon in consecutive weeks, earning him the "Desert Fox" nickname.
The 71-year-old had the opportunity to pick his final tournament, and he also picked the day he took off the headset for the final time alongside Dan Hicks. So that's why Johnny Miller is retiring after calling Saturday's third round at TPC Scottsdale.
In classic Miller fashion, he didn't want to distract from the tournament's finale by making the entire final-round broadcast all about him and his remarkable career.
That career began in 1989, when NBC contacted Miller about becoming their lead analyst the day after he walked away from the PGA Tour. Miller would replace Lee Trevino, who was going to play on what's now PGA Tour Champions. Linda, Miller's wife, suggested a steady source of income would be a good thing. He almost didn't make it more than a day, but he was encouraged to stick it out in the booth. And the rest is history.
Miller isn't really sure what he's going to do next. For the first time in five decades, he won't have to concern himself about the PGA Tour's Florida Swing.
"Part of me is like, it's like the last day of school before summer school break and sort of like, 'I'm free, I can do anything I want,'" he said. "But it will be interesting to see when the spring Florida swing comes along. We have been doing that, how many years? So many years. That was always sort of the start of our season and I'm probably going to have some nostalgia there."
Miller will be able to keep busy, though, traveling between his homes in Utah and California, as well working through his golf-course design business. He owns a piece of the Silverado Resort in Napa, Calif., which hosts the PGA Tour's Safeway Open.
With Paul Azinger coming in to replace Miller as the lead analyst, Miller reiterated his honest-to-a-fault style is what he believes golf fans want. From Azinger, that shouldn't be an issue.
"We're in a P.C. mode and people are afraid to tell the truth, tell what it really is and they're starving for it," Miller said. "So, I said a couple times that I take off their clothes but I leave their underwear on."