Joe Buck has called many memorable sports moments as FOX’s lead play-by-play man, but few have matched the awkwardness that closed out the U.S. Open on Sunday.
After Brooks Koepka clinched his first major title at Erin Hills, the golfer walked off the 18th hole and was greeted by his girlfriend with a celebratory kiss.
“His girlfriend, Becky Edwards, All-American soccer player at Florida State,” Buck said.
There were just two problems: Edwards, now 29, is no longer at Florida State. But more importantly, she is also no longer dating Koepka.
Buck’s broadcasting partner, Brad Faxon, soon corrected the error.
“Joe, that’s actually his new girlfriend. That’s Jena Sims. They were all staying together this week,” Saxon said.
Sims, an actress with an upcoming role in Sharknado 5, is a former Miss Teen USA. Her Wikipedia page contained an update Sunday night that described her as Koepka’s “new” girlfriend.
In a Monday morning interview on The Dan Patrick Show, Buck explained what went wrong and offered a tepid apology.
"I got handed a card by a buddy who was phenomenal all week and it had old info on it," Buck said. "We got it right before we got off the air, but that’s not the world we live in these days, you have to do the apology tour for getting the week-old girlfriend wrong, so sorry world."
Of all the names Buck has had to memorize over the years, Sims’ may be one he’ll remember for quite a while. But the broadcaster added that Sunday’s mistake wasn’t quite as bad as one he made years ago on the baseball diamond.
"I’ve done way worse than this, that’s the funny thing," Buck said. "But it was before the age of Twitter and kind of clickbait stuff, when I asked (then-Diamondbacks shortstop) Tony Womack at the end of a division series game when he was hugging a woman down on the field, and I was interviewing him from the both, who truth be told, I couldn’t really see (her). But we had just been talking about how he lost his dad on Father’s Day that year. And he’s hugging this woman and I said, ‘Hey Tony, I can’t imagine how that feels, who are you hugging down there, is that your mom?’
"The needle came off the record and he goes, ‘No, that’s my wife!’"
Buck’s right —that’s definitely more cringeworthy.