St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports
TampaBay.com
Place an Ad Calendars Classified Forums Sports Weather
tampabay.com

printer version

Golf

TV analyst strives to improve game

Commentator Andy North likes being in the booth and on the course, but would like it more if his game were better.

By RODNEY PAGE, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 22, 2003


LUTZ -- Andy North is a familiar face in the world of golf. If not for his two U.S. Open championships as a member of the PGA Tour, then certainly for his work as a golf analyst for ABC and ESPN.

But on the Champions Tour, North is one of the many players in the shadows of big names like Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Hale Irwin. Because of his money earnings during a 27-year PGA Tour career, North isn't fully exempt on the Champions Tour. When he first became eligible for the over-50 tour, he could only play in events by qualifying on Monday or getting a sponsor's exemption.

He did play well enough last season to finish in the top 50 on the money list. That means he can play in most events, but he had to get into this week's Verizon Classic on a sponsor's exemption. In his three years on the Champions Tour, North's best finish is second at the 2001 Emerald Coast Classic.

He put himself in position to do as well or better after Friday's 2-under 69, which was tied for sixth. He was in the second-to-last group today with Tom Kite and former Verizon Classic champion Bruce Fleisher.

"When you make the turn at 3 under you would like to keep something going," North said. "But I had two or three poor drives. I hit it in the water on 12 and took bogey. But all in all it's encouraging, especially because I haven't played too well the last two weeks."

North finished 68th last weekend at the ACE Group Classic in Naples. Two weeks into the season, North is 69th on the money list with $8,560. That's not discouraging enough to have him thinking of a full-time TV career, however.

He plans to play 20 Champions Tour events this season and will do 10 tournaments for ESPN. Next week, North will be an analyst for the PGA's Match Play tournament.

It's a schedule he likes.

"I'm enjoying what I'm doing," North said. "The mix is pretty good. I'd like it more if I did (golf) a little bit better."

After Friday's opening round, North is enjoying being a golfer, especially a golfer in contention. He has overcome six knee surgeries and says he is feeling fine.

He did what he wanted to do on Friday, which was get himself within striking distance, a place he hasn't been often on the Champions Tour.

"Out here, you're talking one shot here or there," North said. "One better putt, one better drive, one better iron shot. That is the difference between a top 10 and twentysomething. The whole key is to get yourself in position to do well on Sunday. If you get yourself there enough times then hopefully something good will happen."

Back to Sports
Back to Top

© 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111
Contact the Times | Privacy Policy
Standard of Accuracy | Terms, Conditions & Copyright
 

From the Times sports desk

Grand Prix
  • The roar at their door
  • Two sparkling debuts
  • A new Player's on the scene
  • Rival's sales still strong
  • Souvenirs move quickly, not just for CART drivers
  • Respect from garage comes in her own time
  • Rookies not major cause for concern yet
  • The next Unser takes more gradual path
  • Race-side parkers pay $25
  • Safety crews stand by for race

  • Golf
  • Game change pays off
  • TV analyst strives to improve game
  • Back pain sends Palmer home; tee times moved up
  • Howell leads by one in a day of surprises

  • College basketball
  • Salukis, mid-majors get rare day in sun
  • Suspended Red Raider quits team
  • Hot home team or hot team?
  • Saluki-meter
  • Big man shines at small school

  • NFL
  • QB Palmer not scared to land in Cincinnati

  • Baseball
  • Johnson shut down because of pain in wrist
  • Selig wants talks on ban reopened

  • NHL
  • Islanders end Avalanche's points streak

  • In brief
  • Marshall interested in series with USF

  • Sailing
  • Lack of wind delays Race 4 a second time

  • Boxing
  • Lacy hopes win boosts his ranking

  • NBA
  • McGrady scores 52, sits for fourth

  • Motorsports
  • Weather aids first pole win for Blaney

  • Preps
  • Aggressive defense puts Gaither in final
  • Extra practice pays off for stronger Terrapins
  • Northside shuffles athletic hierarchy
  • Eagles get revenge in shutout
  • Cougars' attackers neutralize Hurricanes
  • Familiar foe sinks Berkeley
  • Warhawks end drought
  • Larson jumper lifts Baptist
  • Crusaders hold off Robinson comeback
  • Showdown set for Lions, Chiefs
  • Spongers outlast Cougars
  • Durant surges past Palm Harbor in OT
  • CCC returns to final four
  • Warhawks end drought
  • Cobras battle No.1 Nease but fall short
  • Gators among final four
  • Pirates play poor at the worst time
  • Pasco charges into title game

  • Outdoors
  • Daily fishing report

  • Rays
  • Veteran pitchers hope they are in right place
  • Bierbrodt earns praise for poise

  • Bucs
  • Gruden: Bucs have plenty of work to do
  • Players may have a ring of their own

  • Lightning
  • Lost chances, one lost point
  • Right wing becomes a casualty of victories


  • From the wire

    From the state sports wire
  • Jacksonville's Spicer placed on IR after leg surgery
  • FIU-Western Kentucky game postponed because of Jeanne
  • Brown anxious to face old team for first time
  • Dolphins' desperate defense readies for Roethlisberger
  • Former Sarasota lineman sheds tough-guy image with Michigan
  • Rothstein rejoins Heat as assistant
  • No. 16 Florida has history on its side against Kentucky
  • FSU and Clemson QBs both off to slow starts