reprinted with permission from PGA TOUR
AKRON, Ohio -- University of Houston alumnus and CBS Sports broadcasting great Jim Nantz has been named the 2018 recipient of the Ambassador of Golf Award. The honor is presented annually by Northern Ohio Golf Charities to a person who has fostered the ideals of the game on an international level and whose concern for others extends beyond the golf course.
He joins two former CBS colleagues in his longtime producer Frank Chirkinian (1989) and Ken Venturi, his former lead analyst, as Ambassador of Golf Award recipients.
"I truly consider this to be one of the greatest honors of my career," Nantz said in a news release announcing the award. "I've attended this celebration many times and will never forget being there to see how much it meant to Frank and Kenny. The game of golf has been a blessing in my life and to be able to live out the childhood dream of covering the PGA Tour, well, I'm a lucky man. There are no words to express the depth of my gratitude for this recognition."
Nantz will be honored during a presentation in the Main Dining Room at Firestone Country Club at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 1. Ambassador of Golf Award presentation and dinner tickets are available for $250 each with proceeds benefitting Northern Ohio Golf Charities. For inquiries, fans can contact Allie Grilliot at 330-245-2307 or email email@example.com.
"CBS Sports has been instrumental in the evolution and growth of the PGA TOUR, and Jim Nantz as the legendary voice of Golf on CBS has played an enormously important role in bringing the PGA TOUR into millions of homes each week from his familiar perch in 18 tower," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. "It is truly fitting he receives the 2018 Ambassador of Golf Award, as there is no better ambassador we have in this game than Jim Nantz. Beyond golf, he has done tremendous work in the funding, research and awareness of dementia and Alzheimer's disease through the Nantz National Alzheimer Center in Houston. We are proud to call him a friend and we salute him on this distinguished and much-deserved honor."
Nantz, 58, joined CBS in 1985 and joined the PGA TOUR on CBS in 1986, becoming the host in 1994 and working alongside World Golf Hall of Fame Members Ken Venturi (1994-2002), Lanny Wadkins (2002-2006) and Nick Faldo (2007-present).
In addition to hosting PGA TOUR golf, Nantz is the lead play-by-play for CBS' NFL and college basketball coverage, and he remains the youngest recipient ever of both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame's Curt Gowdy Media Award and the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. His legendary talents calling the action in multiple sports resulted in him becoming the first commentator in history to call the Masters Tournament, Super Bowl and NCAA Men's Final Four in the same year. Nantz will call the trio of events for a fifth time in 2019.
Over the course of a decorated 35-year broadcasting career, Nantz has been honored five times as the NSSA's National Sportscaster of the Year (1998, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009), the most of any sports commentator in CBS history. In 2009 and 2010, he won the Emmy Award in consecutive years for Outstanding Sports Personality, Play-by-Play. For his contributions to the game of golf, Nantz has previously been recognized with the Metropolitan Golf Association's Distinguished Service Award in 2013 and the Golf Course Association of America's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.
Nantz's prodigious talent and work ethic have been felt off the course as well with his work in creating the Nantz National Alzheimer Center in 2011. The NNAC, which is dedicated to funding research into the discovery of early detection of Alzheimer's Disease, was founded in Houston in honor of Nantz's father, Jim Nantz, Jr., who suffered from the terrible degenerative disease for 13 years.
Nantz first honored his father by telling his story in authoring a New York Times bestseller, "Always By My Side," which was the highest ranked sports book in 2008. That book served as his inspiration to open the NNAC.
Before launching his legendary broadcasting career, Nantz spent four years as a member of the University of Houston golf team in college, rooming with future PGA TOUR winners Fred Couples and Blaine McCallister while receiving a degree in Radio/Television. His alma mater recognized him with an honorary doctorate in 2001 in recognition of his contributions to broadcasting and the University of Houston.
In 2005, Nantz established his own production company, Jim Nantz Productions. Serving as the executive producer, Nantz has annually produced a Masters Sunday special. His 2007 show titled "The 1960 Masters" was nominated for the 2007 George Wensel Technical Achievement Sports Emmy Award after broadcasting an event in color that originally aired live in black and white.
Nantz and his wife Courtney live in Pebble Beach, Calif. Nantz has one son, Jameson, and two daughters, Caroline and Finley.
Nantz joins an illustrious list of Ambassador of Golf Award winners: 1981 Chi Chi Rodriguez; 1982 Bing Crosby; 1983 Byron Nelson; 1984 Gene Sarazen; 1985 President Gerald Ford; 1986 Bob Hope; 1987 Dinah Shore; 1988 Joe Dey; 1989 Frank Chirkinian; 1990 Barbara Nicklaus; 1991 Arnold Palmer; 1992 Nancy Lopez; 1993 Roberto De Vicenzo; 1994 President George H.W. Bush; 1995 Michael Bonnallack; 1996 Deane Beman; 1997 Peter Thomson; 1998 Ken Venturi; 1999 Gary Player; 2000 Ben Hogan and Sam Snead; 2001 Del de Windt; 2002 Joanne Carner; 2003 Robert Dedman, Sr. and Jack Vickers; 2004 Lee Trevino; 2005 Pete Dye; 2006 Ken Schofield; 2007 Tony Jacklin; 2008 Charlie Sifford; 2009 Hale Irwin; 2010 Tom Watson; 2011 Nick Price; 2012 Nick Faldo; 2013 Jack Nicklaus; 2014 Johnny Miller; 2015 Judy Rankin; 2016 Davis Love III and 2017 Peter Jacobsen.
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