Paul McGinley 'Auditioning' For NBC Lead Analyst Role During Tiger Woods' Return At Hero World Challenge

The former Ryder Cup captain is allegedly one of a handful of people NBC are trialling to replace Paul Azinger as lead analyst on the broadcaster's golf coverage

A close-up shot of Sky Sports and the Golf Channel analyst Paul McGinley smiling
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Paul McGinley has reportedly been given the chance to go on trial with NBC as the broadcaster's lead analyst at this week's Hero World Challenge, according to the Irish Independent.

Already a commentator for Sky Sports in the United Kingdom and the Golf Channel in the United States, McGinley is being touted as a potential option to replace Paul Azinger at NBC after it was announced that the broadcaster and former Tour player had parted ways with immediate effect.

Shortly after the news broke, Azinger admitted to the Associated Press that he felt "a mixture of disappointment and surprise" at the decision, with the most recent Ryder Cup - won by Team Europe - turning out to be his final post with NBC.

Curt Byrum was initially tipped to stand in for Azinger at this week's Hero World Challenge - which is set to feature Tiger Woods' latest professional comeback - but the Irish Independent is claiming McGinley will step up to the lead job in the Bahamas and Byrum will simply operate as one of the regular commentators while Dan Hicks retains his hosting role.

The 56-year-old may be given future events to showcase his abilities, such as the upcoming PNC Championship, but with the PGA Tour on its holidays - so to speak - opportunities could be limited for McGinley. Per the Irish Independent, Dubliner McGinley is one of several candidates NBC is considering to take up the position full-time when the PGA Tour returns in 2024.

Part of the reason McGinley's stock has risen to this point is down to the success of the Golf Channel's 'Live At' section - which features McGinley alongside Rich Lerner and Brandel Chamblee discussing the game's biggest talking points.

McGinley has also been a popular figure on Sky Sports' golf coverage alongside Nick Dougherty - also occasionally used by NBC - and a plethora of other star names such as Butch Harmon.

As a player, McGinley may be best remembered for holing a 10-foot putt on the 18th hole against Jim Furyk to win the 2002 Ryder Cup for the Europeans at The Belfry. McGinley also won four European Tour titles between 1996 and 2005 - including the Volvo Masters where he beat Sergio Garcia by two shots. Garcia would later become a member of McGinley's 2014 Team Europe Ryder Cup squad, with the men in blue triumphing 16.5 - 11.5 at Gleneagles in Scotland.

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Jonny Leighfield
Staff Writer

Jonny Leighfield is our Staff Writer, joining Golf Monthly just in time for the 2023 Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup. He graduated from the University of Brighton with a degree in Sport Journalism in 2017 and has since spent almost five years as the sole sports reporter at his local newspaper. The self-proclaimed ‘worst golfer in the office’ still enjoys playing as much as he can and is hoping to reach his Handicap goal of 18 at some stage. He attended both the 150th and 151st Opens and is keen to make it an annual pilgrimage.