'There Was No Effort To Hide Him At All' - Nantz Defends Mickelson Masters Coverage

Speaking to Sports Illustrated, Jim Nantz has denied rumours that CBS deliberately limited coverage of LIV players, specifically Mickelson's final round

Jim Nantz and Phil Mickelson
(Image credit: Getty Images)

On Sunday at The Masters, Phil Mickelson gave viewers one of the most memorable rounds in Major history, with the American birdieing five of the last seven holes at Augusta National to shoot the lowest score ever recorded by an over 50 at the tournament.

It was a special 18 holes, but one which was a huge surprise to, not only those watching it, but also the ones who were broadcasting the action, as Jim Nantz explained in an interview with Sports Illustrated‘s Jimmy Traina.

In the build-up to The Masters, it had been confirmed by CBS, that LIV golfers would receive fair broadcast coverage. However, within Mickelson's vault up the leaderboard, it was perhaps slightly bizarre that not much was shown of it until the final few holes.

However, Jim Nantz, who has anchored CBS's coverage of The Masters since the 80s, has now denied rumours that the broadcasting giant deliberately limited coverage of LIV players, with the 63-year-old stating: “If you went back and looked at the full coverage on Sunday, including Sunday morning, the finishing up of the third round, our guys were really on Phil.”

Nantz went on to add: “Part of it is optics, when you look at the leaderboard at the end and you see that Phil’s tied for second, you think, ‘Well, my gosh, they must have been on him all day.’”

Mickelson holes his putt at the 18th hole and fist pumps

Mickelson celebrates his birdie putt on the 18th hole

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Insisting that he felt Mickelson got a fair amount of coverage, the broadcasting legend then went on to say that: "With two holes to play, he was tied for fifth with eight other guys at six under par, and he happens to be facing two holes that you’re lucky if you come through there unscathed in 17 and 18.

"The odds are, if you had to make a prediction on it as you stood on the 17th tee, he’s probably going to make bogey on one of the last two holes and he’ll finish in the top 10. To Phil’s enormous credit, he knocked it to an inch in 17 and made birdie. We showed his entire playing of 18, and all of the sudden he finishes birdie-birdie, and it was a tremendous close by him.”

At the time, Mickelson in fact held the clubhouse lead before Jon Rahm produced a solid finish for a four shot win over both Mickelson and Brooks Koepka. Obviously, the cameras would have been on the final pairings and those around them, with it being unclear as to where a charge may come from within the chasing pack.

“At the end, the leaderboard looks like, ‘Well, he should have gotten that much coverage because he finished second,’” Nantz explained. “But you don’t know how it’s all going to play out in the end. There was no effort at all by anybody at CBS to treat anyone any differently.

“Phil has been a buddy of mine for a long time. There was no effort to conceal him or hide him at all.”

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x