May 05, 2009
Great interview over in Golf Digest with ace
Atlanta Braves Boston Red Sox (ack!) hurler John Smoltz, who's a pretty damn good golfer -- not just "for a jock," for anybody. He's good enough that he's long entertained the notion of playing on the Champions Tour, and now he's even talking like he wants to give the PGA a shot.
And it's not like he'd be intimidated by the pressure; this is a guy who threw eight scoreless innings in an all-or-nothing World Series Game 7 when he was just 24 years old. Even today, Smoltz lives the kind of life that weekend hackers dream about: constant road trips to high-profile locations combined with the ability to get tee times wherever he wants, whenever he wants. He's played almost every major course you could name, and he counts among his regular playing partners a fella by the name of Woods.
So how does he play with Tiger? Well, for starters, he gets only two strokes a side, which should give you an idea of Smoltz's game. From there, it goes like this:
A Nassau -- front nine, back nine and overall. And in my mind we're playing medal play but that ends real quick. You start out thinking: Today might be the day. And that ends real quick. In a match, Tiger wants to win the last few holes and that's what he usually does. I'm not anywhere near a professional golfer but I can see where a professional golfer changes his game and approach because of playing alongside Tiger. I've had a lot of great rounds but very few have ever been with him. He gets you thinking you have to hit the perfect shot, because he's always doing it. It's amazing. It's fun to watch. I've been more comfortable with him lately.
When asked about his prospects for pursuing a pro golf career, Smoltz replied,
I'm real serious. I want to do it. I want to see how far I can go. I want to make a cut on the PGA Tour, but in reality I want to play on the senior tour. I'm fighting age and time, but I'm not afraid of the challenge.
So could Smoltz make a run at a pro career? Eh, hard to say. Well, easy to say, hard to do. But at least he's already got practice looking up the leaderboard at Tiger.