Pat Summerall may be remembered best as the voice of professional football for a generation but he was also a giant among golf announcers.
Summerall, who passed away Monday, worked 26 Masters broadcasts for CBS and occupied the anchor chair in the 18th tower for many of those years. He also hosted the green jacket ceremony for several years at Augusta National.
“The industry lost a legend,” said CBS coordinating producer Lance Barrow, whose career began when he was made an assistant to Summerall.
Sitting in his temporary office at Harbour Town, where CBS will televise the Heritage this week, Barrow told stories of his time with Summerall, focusing on how Summerall always treated everyone the same, regardless of who they were.
Barrrow remembered the calls Summerall made at the end of Masters tournaments.
When Fuzzy Zoeller won in a playoff in 1979, Summerall simply said, “There’s your champion.”
When Ian Woosnam made a par putt at 18 to win in 1991, all Summerall said was, “Got it.”
Years ago, CBS would open telecasts with each announcer describing the hole they would work. At Harbour Town, Summerall handled the famous par-4 18th hole.
He always would say the same thing: “Out of bounds and condominiums to the right. The Calibogue Sound to the left. Par is a meaningful score here.”
Listen closely this weekend and you’ll probably hear Jim Nantz say the same thing about the finishing hole at Harbour Town. He opens with it every year as an homage to Summerall.
This year, it will mean even more.