Curtis Strange, ESPN and The US Open

E Paul LianCorrespondent IJune 19, 2009

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 08:  Phil Mickelson plays his tee shot on the 16th hole while a gallery of fans looks on during the second round of THE PLAYERS Championship on THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass on May 8, 2009 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

How does ESPN continue to justify having Curtis Strange serve as a television commentator for its U S Open telecasts?

The first criteria for any sports announcer is to have an "easy" voice for the viewers to listen too. With Strange, his voice is definitely "annoying". It's too harsh, too guttural, too raspy and not fit for broadcasting.

Maybe ESPN continues to employ Mr Strange because he's the only living back to back winner of a U S Open. That accomplishment certainly gets Strange into the ESPN interview room. After listening to his first answer though, the interviewer should have said:


Maybe ESPN keeps him around because of his insightful views on swing thoughts, course management and overall tournament knowledge. This writer suggests these qualities are a dime a dozen amongst any number of golf announcers, or past competitors. One name that comes to mind is former U S Amateur Champion John Harris. The guy is good, give him a chance.

Sometimes an announcer can make up for his shortcomings with a clever sense of humor. Here again, Strange has yet to bring a smile to most viewers faces. Bland, glum and uninteresting are words that come to mind.

Maybe it's only a matter of his employment being part of the "good ol' boys" network. If that is the case, there is no defense.

In closing, this writer admires all competitors who reach the pinnacle of career success. It seems the broadcast executives in most sports falsely assume these champions can easily move into the announcers booth. It takes a well spoken, articulate person with a golden voice to duplicate their on course success. 

Keep looking ESPN, that person is out there...somewhere.