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Remembering Jim Huber

Writing from Chicago
Tuesday, January 3, 2012

His was the voice of sanity in a world of noise. A soothing one, vaguely Southern, making sense of a tough issue, or putting a human face on something otherwise obtuse.

It was the voice of Jim Huber, and it is forever silent. Huber, the longtime CNN and TNT commentator, died Monday. He was 67. The cause was acute leukemia, a diagnosis that came only days earlier.

Huber began in newspapers and moved to broadcasting – and once, very briefly, was the PR man for the Atlanta Flames – and covered so much more than golf, but it is that sport that was both close to his heart and elicited many of his best essays. It, specifically Tom Watson's near-victory at the 2009 British Open, was also the subject of his last book, "Four Days In July."

Now that voice is silent, and when the PGA Championship rolls around in August, there will be a hole in the coverage that cannot be filled. You may recall that during last year's PGA, the Atlanta Athletic Club's layout was under criticism for being made too difficult by architect Rees Jones. Huber, an AAC member, delivered an essay that essentially said, "We like it that way, so shut up and play." He said it much more eloquently, naturally, but the point was made. A fine professional with his name on his bag should be able to get around a golf course, meeting the challenges as he finds them, rather than complain that the test was too difficult.

We'll miss minutes of brilliance like that. We'll miss Jim Huber.

– Tim Cronin

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