Go to contents

Former Home Run King becomes Golf King?

Posted November. 18, 2003 23:02,   


The retired slugger Mark McGwire (age 40) tried his hands at golf on November 18 at the ADT Skills Challenge which was held at a golf resort in Boca Raton, Florida.

Among the contestants of the tournament were “White Shark” Greg Norman (Australia), Colin Montgomery (Scotland), Paul Azinger (U.S.A.), and Nick Faldo (England). McGwire managed to surprise everyone by winning the largest prize money. The ADT Skills Challenge consisted of seven different events; among them were driving, trouble shooting, and putting. The prize money was awarded to the winners of each event.

McGwire managed to hit an impressive 391-yard drive shot and placed first in the driving event as well as managing to beat Norman in the short iron by getting the ball as close as 53 cm from the hole. McGwire came in second in the bunker shot, trouble shot, putting, and chip shot. McGwire was rewarded with a grand total of $92,500, which he donated to charity.

McGwire said, “I was really nervous in the beginning but the other contestants managed to ease the tension by joking around with a baseball bat in the tee-box.”

Norman, who came in second with $87,000, commented by humorously stating, “If this was a proper match that was accurately scored, there are no doubts that the results would have been different.”

McGwire is 196 cm tall and weighs 102kg, and has played baseball for the Oakland Athletics and the Saint Louis Cardinals. During his sixteen year career, he has hit a total of 583 home-runs and broke the record for the most home runs in a single season by hitting 70 during the 1998 season.

After retiring in 2001, McGwire was reported to have enjoyed playing golf as a past-time, but his best score is unknown. It was said that among the Major League baseball players, it is usually pitchers who do well rather than the sluggers. Tom Glavine (New York Mets), Randy Johnson (Arizona Diamondbacks), and Greg Maddux (Atlanta Braves) have been reported to be talented golfers.

On the other hand, Korean baseball star, Lee Seung-yeop, has recently picked up golf and played for the first time last week. He shot an embarrassing 130. Lee showed his determination by saying, “I will hit a two digit score without question by next year.”

Sang-Soo Kim ssoo@donga.com