View Full Version : Big Ben goes from gridiron to green

04-02-2009, 12:11 AM
Big Ben goes from gridiron to green
Steelers' quarterback a fan favorite on the links

Drew Schmenner
The Desert Sun

RANCHO MIRAGE — Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was back in competition Tuesday almost two months since winning Super Bowl XLIII.

The setting had shifted, however. Instead of connecting with balletic receiver Santonio Holmes for the winning touchdown, he was unleashing powerful drives at the Kraft Nabisco Championship Celebrity Pro-Am.

“It's a great time. It's a great place,” said Roethlisberger, who was paired with Natalie Gulbis, tournament chairman Dennis Belcastro and amateur Sang Chun.

The event is becoming a permanent fixture on the quarterback's offseason schedule.

“Dennis and those guys at Kraft do an awesome job out here, and I said, ‘As long as you'll ask me, I'll come,'” he said.

Roethlisberger was relaxed and down-to-earth on the Dinah Shore Tournament Course, joking with fans that he was wearing a bright red shirt to channel Tiger Woods, who wears his signature color on Sundays. He signed countless autographs and thanked fans for their support after his second Super Bowl victory.

The 6-foot-5, 240-pound quarterback might not be the only member of his family to win a championship this year. His sister, Carlee, could capture an NCAA women's basketball title.

As a sophomore forward for the Oklahoma Sooners, Roethlisberger and her teammates advanced to the Final Four with a 74-68 victory over Purdue on Tuesday. Fighting for playing time behind more experienced starters, the 6-foot-1 forward has flourished in the tournament, earning more minutes off the bench.

“She's persevered, and I'm proud of her,” Ben Roethlisberger said.

The Steeler said he plans on attending the Final Four in St. Louis, but don't count on the Miami (Ohio) alumnus singing “Boomer Sooner” with the OU faithful.

“No, I don't do that. I just cheer for her,” he said with a laugh.

Roethlisberger said he has been playing a lot of golf across the country during the offseason, including a recent round at Bighorn Golf Club. He has a 7 handicap, according to a list of athletes' handicaps published by Golf Digest in 2007. That puts him in the middle of pack, tied for 121st out of 220 athletes, placing him behind former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw (2.9 handicap) but ahead of New England quarterback Tom Brady (8).

Roethlisberger said his handicap has improved slightly, but he was unwilling to disclose the number, joking that his playing partners would think he was playing below his level.

“I can't reveal that because then all the people I play with will think I'm sandbagging,” he said with a laugh.

Galax Steeler
04-02-2009, 03:26 AM
I am glad to see him out playing golf instead of out riding that motorcycle.

04-02-2009, 05:29 AM
The shoulder and the rib must be feeling better.

Can we hope for a season with a relatively injury free Ben? O-line.....can you hear me?

Not that I'm complaining about the Superbowl winning O-line or anything ....... just sayin'........... :flap:

04-02-2009, 05:33 AM
Hmmm he was paired with Natalie Gulbis (Ex GF)...I wonder how Missy Peregrym feels about that haha

04-02-2009, 09:42 AM
Hmmm he was paired with Natalie Gulbis (Ex GF)...I wonder how Missy Peregrym feels about that haha

First thing I noticed as well, interesting pairing. Natalie is definately a hottie for sure.. but it would suck because she could beat the snot out of you on the course....