I have never met Jerry Rice, the former NFL superstar turned hack professional golfer. I don't know him, know his golf game, know his objectives as he approaches these Nationwide Tour events. All I know is that the man must stop doing it. Like, now.
Rice has now played in three Nationwide Tour events. The first was a two-day total of 17-over par, finishing 151 out of 152 golfers in the field. The second ended when Rice inexplicably pulled out a range finder DURING COMPETITION, getting disqualified as any golfer with a balata of sense would know was about to happen.
Now, Rice has withdrawn after an opening round 86 at the TPC Stonebrae Championship and a weather delay that had the former wide receiver open with a 42 on his first nine holes before pulling out early.
There are so many things wrong with this, I don't even know where to start.
He's taking a spot away from an actual professional golfer trying to make a living.
He's not good at golf.
He continues to try to hit the piñata, not understanding that he will never, ever, ever make contact.
I don't care if Rice is doing this for charity. I don't care if every time he tees it up an orphan finds a home. All I care about is the fact that Jerry Rice continues to disrespect the game of golf and it needs to stop.
Why the hell is the Nationwide Tour giving this guy exemptions? Can someone explain that to me? Is it because it forces guys like me to write about the tournament? is that the exposure you want for a tour event?
Jerry Rice's golf swing isn't bringing people to a golf tournament, much like Tiger Woods' jump-shot wouldn't have basketball fans rushing to a Harlem Globetrotters game. Sports fans, the real, true sports fan, wants to see talented people play the game in a way they can't comprehend.
Rice doesn't do that. He goes out and makes a lot of double-bogeys, not many birdies, and posts a score similar to what you or your dad would post at an event like this on the courses the Nationwide Tour plays.
And the biggest issue? The Nationwide Tour is a much bigger deal this year. Guys with a weak status could really use a boost at this event or that one, because playing well means a lot more in 2012 than it did a year ago.
Rice needs to give up on this dream. He's simply not good enough to make it. It was fun once. It was annoying the second time. Now, it's downright disrespectful.