Tour players lose to football duo in golf contest

August 22, 2007
By Rick Thomson PGA TOUR Staff

Jerry Pate and Jim Colbert have won a combined 37 events in their PGA TOUR and Champions Tour careers. Fortunately, they never had to compete against Seattle Seahawks punter Ryan Plackemeier.


As part of the festivities for this week's Boeing Classic, Colbert and Pate visited the Seattle Seahawks NFL training camp on Tuesday morning and competed in a "Closest to the Pin" contest against Plackemeier and Seahawks tight end Marcus Pollard.

Each player attempted two shots on a makeshift, 111-yard hole which stretched across two practice fields at the Seahawks training camp facility. Plackemeier, who carries an 8 handicap, hit two solid pitching wedge shots. His closest attempt came to rest about 4½ feet from the pin. Colbert and Pate both hit their best attempts to just over 10 feet, not enough to overtake the home team of Plackemeier and Pollard.

"I had two lucky shots," said Plackemeier, the second-year punter from Wake Forest University, alma mater of five Champions Tour players in the Boeing Classic field this week. "If it was a full round I'd have no chance against these guys."

While Plackemeier seemed comfortable with a golf club in his hand, Pollard succumbed to first tee jitters. After skulling his first attempt, a little advice from Pate helped produce a much better second shot.

"I'm not used to playing golf in front of big crowds. I can't imagine the pressure these guys feel every week," said a smiling Pollard. "Jerry gave me a good tip after my first shot -- he told me to loosen my grip and that helped me get the ball in the air a little better."

"Golf is a sport I really enjoy and wish I had the ability to do for a living," Pollard added. "To be able to swing a club today and get tips from Jerry Pate, a former U.S. Open Champion, was really a thrill. If they need any tips on lifting weights, I can definitely help there. "

Despite beating the professional golfers on this day, Plackemeier was humble in victory.

"It was a privilege to swing a club with Jim and Jerry today. It was an opportunity for us to pay our respects to one another. We appreciate them coming out here and watching us practice, and we definitely have a deep respect for all they have accomplished on the golf course."

Prior to the closest to the pin contest, Pate and Colbert spent about an hour watching the Seahawks run through a variety of drills on the football field. Following practice, Colbert, who attended Kansas State on football scholarship, spent several minutes with Seahawks Head Coach Mike Holmgren. Pate chatted with fellow University of Alabama alumni Shaun Alexander, who now stars as a running back for the Seahawks.