Devil Ball Golf - Golf

Every time you tee it up with an unfamiliar foursome, you're going to get some blather about how good your new playing partners are in their chosen professions. Chances are, though, they're not within a mile of the three guys Larry Giebelhausen found hiself with: an NBA immortal, a Super Bowl champion and a top-of-the-charts musician.

Giebelhausen was the latest beneficiary of what's becoming a U.S. Open tradition -- a Golf Digest contest that sets up an everyday dude with three world-famous weekend hackers to play the upcoming U.S. Open course at its championship level. In this case, the foursome included Michael Jordan, Justin Timberlake and Ben Roethlisberger.

Inspired by Tiger Woods' offhand assertion two years ago that a 10-handicap golfer couldn't break 100 at Oakmont, site of the 2007 U.S. Open, the contest asked entrants to come up with a pithy little reason why they deserved to play at such an august location with such a notable group. Giebelhausen's six-word entry: "I'm a cop, I'll shoot low!" won over both Golf Digest's editors and the online voting public. (Giebelhausen is the short one in the photo at right.)

And then it came time to actually play the course. Jordan started off with a triple-bogey on No. 1 and a double-bogey on 2, but settled down -- relatively speaking -- and finished at 16 over par with an 86. Roethlisberger fired an 81, and Timberlake brought sexy back towards par with an 88. Giebelhausen ended up with a 101.

The players weren't the only celebrities on the course; each of the big names had a prominent caddy on the bag. Rocco Mediate carried for Big Ben, Anthony Kim looped for Timberlake, and Fred Couples caddied for Jordan.

Giebelhausen didn't exactly squeal like a little girl in the presence of three celebs, according to the AP. "[Their celebrity] doesn't impress me. What impresses me was that they were nice guys. That they were fun. That they were genuine. That they were pulling for me. That they were supportive."

They were also playing pretty damn well for everyday golfers, so much so that The Golf Blog suggested that perhaps the course was playing too easy. The course ate golfers alive in 2002; perhaps its designers have scaled it back a touch for this year's Open. We shall see ... and we shall also be polishing up our essay-writing skills for next year's contest.

Jordan, Roethlisberger, Timberlake play Bethpage [AP via Yahoo! Sports]

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