NEXT! US Open’s Bethpage Black Torched By Roethlisberger’s Drives
By Tom Smith
Ben Roethlisberger loves a challenge. From being the first quarterback to go 13-0 during his rookie season in the NFL to being the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl, to leading his Steeler team on the game winning 78 yard, eight play drive to win Super Bowl XLIII, Roethlisberger has shown the ability to succeed despite all odds. Another example was his scorecard from today on Bethpage Black as part of the Golf Digest US Open Challenge. An 81
Another challenge, another impressive result.
Especialy for a part time golfer who had tweaked his knee in Steeler OTA’s last week, had been sacked a record amount for NFL quarterbacks the past season, and even suffered a concussion during the regular season at the hands of the Cleveland Browns last year.
But unlike Tiger Woods, Ben still played. After all, it is golf.
On the front nine:
4, 5, 4, 8, 5, 5, 4, 3, 5.
Then on number ten he birdied. Yeh, that’s right. The Bethpage Black course has more 500-yard-plus par 4s (three) than any other major championship in history and a two time Super Bowl Champion pro quarterback birdied it! Number seven is the longest of the par fours and Roethlisberger had a par on it. He saved his best for number ten though a monster 508-yard par FOUR.
Hole number ten reverts from the layout of the Black courses to a more Links style hole that had the fearsome foursome of Big Ben, Michael Jordan, Justin Timberlake, and Phoenix Police Lieutenant Larry Giebelhausen facing those large dunes on the left and the tree line on the right. It is one of the prettiest holes on the course, but also very difficult as the driver landing zone is closely guarded by sand.
Ben went long off the tee, similar to some of his deep passes this year for the six-time Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers. Big Ben’s drive was the key to his birdie. The green is protected with sand in the front as well as a swale. Ahhh, that stuff that Course Superintendent Craig Currier had manicured to perfection didn’t stop Ben, he is used to the goal line being protected by much bigger, and less manicured obstacles.
On the back nine:
3,5,7,5,3,3,6, 3, 4
Ben took an awful seven, what was he doing??? Come on Ben, you gotta throw the ball, no wait hold on….. My bad, just a flashback. A seven was bad (I can’t even type that without thinking I would die to get a seven) on the 12th hole, a 504-yard, par 4 (yet another 500 yard par 4).
As he often does on the football field, Ben didn’t tire down the stretch. Perhaps his Pennsylvania homegrown caddie, the star of the US Open last year, Rocco Mediate provided a few jokes as he is known to do on the course, or some great tips around the greens. (I wonder what the gratuity is for a PGA pro to be your caddie?) Whatever the reason Ben was solid in his efforts on the course throughout the day. Roethlisberger has been working on his golf game around the significant time he spends working to place two Lombardi trophies in the hallway of Heinz Field. His practice efforts this offseason have been effective as his golf game showed flashes of the power and finesse it takes to be successful in the game. He also showed signs of future championships as well, and these will be for his own hallway at the Roethlisber Estate.
You can watch the complete round on NBC before the final round of the US Open.
Steeler fans: Terrible towels aren’t necessary.
I am certain what is going through the minds of the PGA as well as the Directors of every celebrity tournament on planet Earth. Big Ben, you just have earned a permanent invite to every tournament you could ever care to play.
But for us Steeler fans… that pro golfer talk is a bad idea, a very bad idea. We need to win several more championships before Ben hits the tour. And is there any doubt he will play competitive golf one day? I know one thing, if this competitive, athletic, win at all cost ‘God Send’ wanted to play, I have no question he would be one of the best.
So after he conquers the world of professional golf what will Ben’s next challenge be? I am thinking professional bull riding. The ladies love a good bull rider.