Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Jerry Rice hits out of the rough during the Nationwide Tour's Fresh Express Classic.
Jerry Rice hits out of the rough during the Nationwide Tour's Fresh Express Classic.
Jerry Rice hits out of the rough during the Nationwide Tour's Fresh Express Classic.

NFL legend Jerry Rice is back - as a pro golfer

The TD king is ready to sack his putter after a round of 83 and admits the new game is the biggest challenge he has faced.

HAYWARD, CalifORNIA. // Jerry Rice finally found a sport in which he does the hitting. But after going 12 over par in his professional golf debut, he might wish he was still getting tackled on the football field. Rice, who holds the National Football League career record with 208 touchdowns, shot 83 in the first round of a Nationwide Tour event.

His first shot as a professional landed in knee-high grass about 20 yards off the fairway, leading to a double-bogey. He followed that with four double-bogeys, five bogeys and one birdie in the round. "My first NFL starts were bumpy - I was dropping footballs all over the place," Rice, who was tied for 153rd place in the 155-player field, said in a blog he is writing for the PGA Tour's website. "And my putter is toast. I am going to melt it down. You won't see it again."

Rice, 47, spent 20 seasons as an NFL receiver, the first 16 with the San Francisco 49ers. He set NFL records by catching 197 touchdown passes and gaining 22,895 yards on receptions. Rice, who will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August, retired after the 2004 season. He took second place with his partner Anna Trebunskaya on the television show Dancing With the Stars in 2006, and spends much of his free time on the golf course, indulging a passion he discovered while still in the NFL.

"I feel like I've never had something to really challenge me as much as golf," Rice told reporters before the tournament. "I love the game." His debut on the Nationwide Tour, a step below the PGA Tour, certainly was a challenge for Rice - who ended the first day 20 shots behind Fresh Express Classic leader Dicky Pride of the United States. He improved somewhat on the second day, shooting a 76. * The Washington Post

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Yuvraj Singh, left, and Virat Kohli of Royal Challengers Bangalore celebrating after they won their IPL match against Delhi Daredevils at Sharjah Cricket Stadium in Sharjah. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: IPL 7 action at Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Royal Challengers Bangalore’s power-hitters laid down a marker at the first opportunity in IPL 2014 as they cruised past a hapless Delhi Daredevils with eight wickets, 20 deliveries, and about three more gears to spare in front of a packed house at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday, April 17, 2014.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.

 Chris Burch will play fly-half as part of a new-look back line for the UAE national rugby union team that will face Singapore at The Sevens grounds in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National

Chris Burch to lead UAE’s charge against Singapore

he UAE’s bid to safeguard their place in the second tier of Asian rugby against Singapore next week will be piloted by a player who was contemplating retirement from the sport at this time last year.

 Opening performance during Day 3 of the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship at the First Gulf Bank Arena at Zayed Sport City in Abu Dhabi. Mona Al-Marzooqi/ The National

In pictures: Day 3 of the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship

All the action from Day 3 of the World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship at the First Gulf Bank Arena at Zayed Sport City in Abu Dhabi.

 Atletico Madrid's Cristian Rodriguez, second left, celebrates his goal with team mates, and coach Diego Simeone, third right. Atletico are on the cusp of a Primer Liga title. AP Photo/Andres Kudacki

Atletico Madrid look to edge towards Primera Liga title before Chelsea visit

Diego Simeone's men need to win just four of their five remaining games to seal the Primera Liga championship and they take on Elche before the first leg of their Uefa Champions League semi-final against Chelsea on Tuesday.

 Jorginho accepts the challenge that lies ahead for Al Wasl's improvement, and the club says it will give him time ... if they see results.  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Wasl will give Jorginho time but results in Arabian Gulf League are needed

Al Wasl officials said they will provide Jorginho, their new coach, sufficient time to change the club’s fortunes while also warning that his fate ultimately will depend on results.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National