JOHN DERR COVERED 62 MASTERS and was a colleague and longtime friend of Jim McKay. I asked him for his thoughts following McKay’s death on Saturday.
“Jim was a trusted colleague at CBS,” wrote Derr in an email, “where he was at home with any microphone, regardless of the sport, regardless of the venue.
“He was an associate covering the Masters the day ABC offered him a staff assignment, expected to last only a few months. We thought Jim would be back with us by next April at Augusta.
“No. Jim became the voice of ABC and did a darned good job of telling his listeners and viewers what he was seeing and feeling. His tragic Olympic news coverage is most remembered, but I recall days sitting around with Jim as we prepared to do a broadcast. He was a font of information about many sports but I always suspected he liked horse racing best of all.
“That's why the Belmont upset only hours after McKay died made June 7th a tragic daily double. There will be other horses and maybe some day there will be a Triple Crown winner, but we said goodbye to a great reporter and friend. Better luck on the back nine, Jim.”
−The Armchair Golfer