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Patriots Daily: Is Golf Harder Than Football?

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New England Patriots punter Bryce Baringer (17) punts the ball during the first half of an NFL football game Washington Commanders on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2023, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Greg M. Cooper)

Bryce Baringer has stayed busy this offseason. The New England Patriots punter qualified for the 116th Massachusetts Amateur Championship golfing. The event took place this week with stroke play on Monday and Tuesday. The top 32 golfers after advanced to match play on Wednesday, with an opportunity to take home the title.

Baringer failed to qualify for match play though finished in the top half of the field. Of the 144 qualifiers who teed off on Monday, Baringer tied for 62 on the leaderboard. He shot 77-74-151 to end at +7 for the tournament. Baringer was disappointed not to reach match play but kept it in perspective.

“My goal was to make match play, and obviously it stinks that it didn’t happen,” said Baringer afterward finishing. “But my main goal was always to stay sharp and focused and this helped me on the other side of the coin with football and staying in that competitive mindset.”

NFL Players Chime on Golf

New York Jets All-Pro cornerback Sauce Gardner has been taking to social media with his newfound obsession with the sport of golf. Professional athletes have been playing golf for generations, with many becoming quite good. Among the more recent stars from other sports with impressive golf games are John Smoltz, Stephen Curry, and Matt Ryan. But Gardner posted a comment on X that got me thinking. He wrote, “Never thought I would say this but golf is harder than football.” New England Patriots defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale agreed.

NFL players are probably better judges than me, but that seems difficult to fathom. My grandfather was the groundskeeper at a golf course for many years. He did not start playing until he retired. When he was in his 80’s, Jim Grady shot a golf score lower than his age. I understand my grandfather was a unique legend, but it’s hard to imagine he would have been playing much football at a similar stage in his life.

Golf is an incredibly difficult game to get great at. Most of us can’t even figure out how to get decent. But the idea that it is more difficult than facing giants with speed and strength difficult to fathom is tough to believe. Cast a vote and let me know what you think.

Also in Tuesday’s Patriots Daily:

Patriots Fact of the Day

The American Century Championship, formerly known as the Celebrity Golf Tournament, began in 1990. Of the winners, only actor Jack Wagner was not a professional athlete. All other winners were active (five) or retired athletes. Football is the most represented sport in the winner’s circle with 12. The NFL player with the most titles is former quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver, who won the event four times.

While the Boston Red Sox were well represented at last year’s event (six players in the top 30 finishers) the only member of the New England Patriots to participate was Mike Vrabel, who finished 65 out of 93 contestants.

Post of the Day

Bill Belichick tells a story of Tom Brady tempting fate for a golf shot when the two New England Patriots legends partnered up in a Pro-Am event, courtesy of NFL Podcasts:

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Award-winning blogger, Dan's work has also been featured on Fox Sports, Boston Metro, Barstool Sports, MLB.com, and many other outlets.

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