Jerry Rice, an NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver known for his laser-like focus and precision, is turning those attributes to a new sport: golf.
Rice, 47, will make his professional debut this Thursday as part of the 156-player field in the Fresh Express Classic at Stonebrae in Hayward, Calif. He will also serve as host of the event, which operates under the supervision of the PGA.
“This is an opportunity of a lifetime here,” Rice said. “You know I’m a competitor. I don’t want to go out there and have those players who are playing on the Nationwide Tour think this is a publicity stunt for attention. It’s not. ... I have the opportunity to go out and prove to everybody I can play golf.”
An avid golfer for over 20 years and a mainstay on the pro-am circut, Rice will be in the running for prize money if he make the 36-hole cut.
“I got addicted to the game. I have so much passion for it,” Rice told the Associated Press.
Rice, a 13-time Pro Bowler and the all-time NFL leader in touchdowns, is generally considered to be the best wide receiver in league history. In 2006, he was a finalist with dancer Anna Trebunskaya on ABC's Dancing with the Stars.