Sports Commentator Jim Nantz talks Masters on and off the course - CBS46 News

Sports Commentator Jim Nantz talks Masters on and off the course

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The Masters is underway at Augusta National Golf Club. The best golfers in the world are there for golf's most prestigious tournament. CBS Sports Commentator Jim Nantz will call the shots for the 28th year.

The Masters tournament inspired Nantz at age 11 to get into sports.

"For me this is the childhood dream. I wanted to work for CBS since I was a little boy. So I never have taken this for granted nor will I ever. To be at Augusta is the dream, the childhood dream, so it's important for me to share it with friends and family that I care about," Nantz said.

The aura of Augusta gets Nantz every time. 

"I just love coming here and the comfort of the world of golf gathering here. It's the only major that does not move around, it's the same course every year," Nantz said. 

Nantz walks the course each year before the tournament starts, and he pays close attention to the golfers' games.

"The course is in great shape. All the best players seem to be primed, their games are in good shape. Tiger of course is coming in as hot as he can be and Rory finally seemed to click last week in San Antonio with a runnerup finish, he needed that. Mickelson's had a strong start to the year, so all the big guns are ready to go. Augusta's primed," Nantz said.

Nantz said CBS' coverage plan for The Masters begins in September, well in advance of the tournament each year.

"The relationship with Augusta National goes back to 1956. We're really proud of this presentation. We're a core group of about 700 strong that are the best at what they do to put that broadcast on the air," Nantz said.

Nantz said the The Masters coverage on CBS is the most watched golf tournament.

"It's going to have that Masters texture and that air of importance and that emphasis on history and tradition and respect for the game and respect for people," Nantz said.

The tradition began Thursday morning when honorary starters and golf legends Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player opened the tournament," Nantz said.

But the headline grabbing attention this year is Tiger Woods hot streak and his return as number one golfer in the world. Nantz says that's not a surprise, Woods' been the story each year since his first Masters win 16 years ago.

"Every year since then he's returned, he's been the story. He wasn't No. 1 in the world last year, but he was the talk going into the tournament. He's been in this position many, many times, so this is not unusual. I know we're all freaked out because he's won three tournaments and he looks kind of like the Tiger of 2000, 2001 and we've been down this road before. But we still have a tournament to play. He's the story, he's the favorite,  but there's a lot of guys primed to win the green jacket," Nantz said.

Nantz believes it takes a something special to walk away with the coveted green jacket.

"I really believe you have to have a very vast imagination to win here; very smart player, very creative. That's Tiger, that's Fred Couples, that's Phil Mickelson, that's Bubba Watson. These are guys that every year should be able to make a run at the coat," Nantz said.         

He believes there are compelling stories each year, whether it's UGA's Bubba Watson's emotional win last year shortly after adopting his son, or Phil Mickelson's win in 2010 after his wife's and mother's breast cancer diagnoses. 

"We're storytellers. You cut us to the core. We want drama, we want excitement, we want this thing to come down to the wire, we want people to be sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for that moment for it all to be decided when it's all said and done," Nantz said. 

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