Phil Mickelson fired an even-par 70 on Saturday to get to one-over overall in the PGA Championship, but rather than retreat to his hotel room for the afternoon, he instead made his debut on the CBS broadcast, alongside Nick Faldo and Jim Nantz.
Mickelson’s hour-plus in the chair was a revelation: he was insightful, honest, funny — everything you could want from a golf broadcaster — and golf fans ate it up, praising the five-time major winner on Twitter. But Mickelson also dropped a cheeky joke within seconds of stepping into the booth that led to what TV folks call “dead air.”
After returning from a commercial break, Nantz welcomed Mickelson into the booth and said to Sir Nick, “Ready for a little fireside chat with Phil?” All three laughed.
“Phil, great to have you,” Nantz continued.
“Thank you, it’s nice to be here,” Mickelson said. “There’s three things I do well: play golf and talk golf.”
“What’s the third thing?” Faldo asked, earnestly, the joke seemingly flying right over his head.
(The third thing we’ll go ahead and assume is not necessarily appropriate for a family-friendly golf broadcast.)
Mickelson remained mum, a glint in his eye, while Faldo tried again. “You said three things,” Faldo said, counting on his fingers for emphasis.
Mickelson smiled before Nantz broke the tension with, “He’s setting you up.”
After another beat or two, Nantz said, “Leave that to your imagination, dear boy.”
Nantz transitioned the conversation to the course setup and the trio moved on, but what a moment! The awkward exchange, which you can watch below, did not escape viewers at home.