Paul Azinger is no longer the lead golf analyst for NBC Sports, ending his five years with the network at the Ryder Cup in October without even knowing that was his final event.
"With the golf and media landscapes now in a more challenging environment, Azinger and NBC will part ways as their current contract ends," according to a statement from his manager.
Azinger chose not to discuss specifics as to why another contract wasn't done, only to say Sunday that it was a mixture of disappointment and surprise.
"I was supposed to do the Bahamas," he said, referring to the Hero World Challenge the first weekend in December, with Tiger Woods playing for the first time since April. It was not known who would be working alongside NBC host Dan Hicks on the broadcast.
NBC now has parted ways with three of its more notable voices in the past calendar year, with the contracts of Roger Maltbie and Gary Koch also not renewed in a decision that surprised them both. Maltbie had been with NBC since 1991, Koch since 1997.
"I have treasured working beside Dan Hicks and the other talented NBC broadcasters as well as lead producer Tommy Roy and all those behind the scenes," Azinger said. "They are a remarkable team, and I will miss them tremendously. My thanks to them and the countless others who have supported me and helped me along the way during my work in television.
"I have faith in what the future holds for me, for NBC, and for the great game of golf."
An NBC spokesperson confirmed that Azinger is no longer with the network with a statement that thanked him for his work the past five years.
"His insights, work ethic and relationships in the golf industry are well known, and we appreciate what he brought to our team. We wish Paul the best in his future endeavors," the statement said.
Azinger won the 1993 PGA Championship in a playoff over Greg Norman and later that year was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He began his television work in 2005 with ABC and ESPN in a unique role, sharing analyst duties with Nick Faldo in the booth.
They opposed each other as Ryder Cup captains in 2008, where Azinger was dubbed "Captain America" for reshaping the U.S. qualifying and leading the Americans to victory.
ESPN lost its rights to the Open Championship in 2015, and Azinger joined Fox Sports as lead analyst when it took over the U.S. Open contract. NBC hired him to replace longtime analyst Johnny Miller in 2018, allowing him to keep his Fox role. In a twist, NBC then got back the U.S. Open contract in 2020.
Azinger said he did not have any immediate plans except to fish at his home in Bradenton, Florida, and work with Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design on the Miakka Golf Club in Florida.