Pro Golf Weekly

Holly Sonders Bounced From FOX Sports’ Coverage of US Open

According to Golfweek, Holly Sonders will no longer be part of FOX Sports’ coverage of its annual U.S. Open broadcast, along with the other USGA championships.

Sonders, best known for her role with the Golf Channel’s “Morning Drive” – among other things, left NBC’s golf network to sign with Fox Sports prior to its 2015 contract with the USGA.

The Michigan State graduate got off to a rocky start at the 2015 U.S. Open with some awkward interviews, and so for the next two editions (2016 and 2017), she was moved inside the FOX studio to conduct stand-up interviews with so-called experts such as architect Gil Hanse and journalist Jamie Diaz.

But let’s just say the mostly male TV audience’s eyeballs were focused elsewhere. In fact, in 2017, she was criticized on Twitter for crossing the line with her outfit.

Holly Sonders FOX Sports US Open
Holly Sonders appears in studio with Gil Hanse and Darren Clarke during the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills (WI). Credit: FOX Sports Screengrab via Pro Golf Weekly

After last summer’s 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock, I wrote on Pro Golf Weekly:
“The FOX production crew had Sonders mostly seated and wearing some kind of blazer/sweater for much of the weekend, despite summer-like temps in the Hamptons. I’m guessing last year’s outfit was a bit too much for the blue bloods. More importantly, though, Sonders refused to stand up (pun intended) for Phil when the bozo from Globalist Golf Post tore him apart. For this she gets a failing grade.”

More from Golfweek:

An Ohio native and accomplished junior golfer, Sonders graduated in 2009 with a degree in journalism from Michigan State where she helped the women’s golf team win a Big Ten title in 2007. Prior to her Golf Channel stint, Sonders was a news and sports reporter with KATV in Little Rock, Arkansas and worked as a sideline reporter for the Big Ten Network after beginning her career at Columbus, Ohio’s WBNS-10 TV.

Irishman Shane O’Donoghue was also not renewed. The Fox Sports-USGA contract ends after the 2026 championship season.

Jeff Smith

Jeff is a writer and content producer for Pro Golf Weekly. He is working on a book, documenting the 2017 and 2018 seasons on the major golf tours.

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