US network CBS axes Bangor commentator David Feherty
Popular Northern Ireland-born golf commentator David Feherty has been reportedly dropped by CBS in a move that has shocked golf fans.
The former professional player, originally from Bangor, became an instant hit when he joined the US TV station after retiring from the game in the mid-90s.
Feherty, whose natural wit and unique expressions made him stand out from other commentators, had been with CBS for nearly 20 years.
It is believed the 57-year-old failed to reach agreement over his future role with the American broadcaster. He was last heard commentating on the Barclays tournament last week and is not expected to work for CBS again.
USA Today wrote that Feherty's "devil-may-care attitude and his distinct personality made him one of the most lovable analysts on TV".
"He had carte blanche to say whatever he'd like - Feherty is a beloved golf voice and a quick search of Twitter shows how angry people are about the report. Feherty was every bit as important to CBS's golf coverage as Jim Nantz or Nick Faldo."
The publication also said it couldn't imagine Feherty sitting on the sidelines for too long, with Fox and NBC being mooted as possible new hosts.
Local golf correspondent Peter Hutcheon said he was surprised to hear of developments in the US.
"David Feherty is very different from most ex-players who can be very bland. David is not afraid to call a spade a spade and is always very entertaining. He is very self-deprecating. He has made more of a name for himself in America commentating."
Feherty, who was educated at Bangor Grammar School before turning professional, lives with his wife Anita and their five children in Dallas, Texas. In his career he was a five-time winner on the European Tour and a member of the European Ryder Cup team in 1991.
Hailed for his funny and sarcastic commentary, his outspoken views occasionally landed him in hot water. Generally, however, his lighthearted commentary has been welcomed.
In 2014 he received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Sports Personality. He has also authored six books, with several making the New York Times Best Sellers List, and after a trip to Iraq founded Feherty's Troops First Foundation. The foundation works with wounded soldiers who come home without limbs or have been severely disfigured.
He became a US citizen in 2010.
Among those taking to Twitter to express their annoyance at reports of the CBS departure were College Golf who tweeted: "CBS has parted ways with David Feherty. That's a mistake. Golf is much more entertaining with him as an analyst." Golf.com tweeted: "There's nobody else like David Feherty."
CBS has yet to comment on the reports.