He had just secured his fishing boat to the dock behind his house on the Manatee River inlet in Bradenton, Fla. The flight to Mexico was a couple of days out. Bags weren’t packed, yet, but that wouldn’t take long. One of the perks Paul Azinger gave himself during his playing days was an elevator in his closet. A couple of fashionable suits – a wardrobe upgrade his wife, Toni, helped assemble once he knew his television career would continue – along with some casual attire (jeans are hit-or-miss after some criticism at the U.S. Women’s Open a few years back) and he can press a button and send the suitcase down to the garage where he keeps his jeep, Toni’s SUV and a revolving inventory of motorcycles – Harleys, BMWs and spartan dirt bikes that most people wouldn’t climb aboard on a bet.
Zinger still rides, although not as much as a few years ago when he and a couple of buddies would cruise from west Florida to the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and back. Or when he’d take one of the bikes to Augusta to work the Masters. Or when he’d pick a major power-line easement and see how far he could go on a dirt bike before getting bogged down. Grandchildren cut out some of that. His new job should throttle it back even more.
This particular morning, before his gig as NBC’s lead golf analyst kicked off at the WGC-Mexico Championship, Zinger carried three sheepshead, ranging from 3 to 5 pounds, on a line from the dock to the kitchen. “It’ll do for dinner,” he said with a slight c...
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