L.T., Marino are golf buddies | TahoeDailyTribune.com

L.T., Marino are golf buddies

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

STATELINE – Mutual respect.

Two of the best players at their position in National Football League history made the 18-hole loop together during an American Century Championship practice round Wednesday.

Lawrence Taylor, a Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker for the New York Giants, didn’t try to sack Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino once. Their days of competing for NFL supremacy long over, the former foes are now friends. Marino was happy to have Taylor as a playing partner instead of threatening menace across the line of scrimmage.

“Oh, yeah, but I love L.T.,” Marino said. “We were just in L.A. doing Nutra System commercials. We spent two days there, then flew up together.”

The retired NFL stars have shifted their competitiveness to golf and tearing apart Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. Both celebrity golf veterans are adept at getting their golf ball around the course and play with a style reminiscent of their pro football careers. Taylor is aggressive, unleashing some drives that Tiger Woods would accept and others that bring all sorts of hazards into play.

“I’ve always played golf like I played football – I’m all out,” Taylor said during a press conference at last year’s tournament. “If there’s trees in the way, people in the way, houses in the way, I don’t care. I’m still hitting it. And a lot of times you never know where the ball’s going to be.”

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Marino is precise with his shots, just like he was with his passes during a prolific 17-year career with the Dolphins.

“For all of the players here, the young guys and the Hall of Famers, it’s an honor to come out and be a part of this whole thing,” said Marino, who is making his first appearance in the event in four years.

In 2005, Marino finished ninth, but he doesn’t believe he’ll top that performance this week.

“I don’t think I’m capable of winning, but I think I’m capable of getting ninth place,” he said. “I don’t have the game to beat certain players who are here. On a daily basis, I’m not as consistent as they are.”

Taylor contended last year before settling for a 10th-place tie. This came a year after sharing the 36th spot.

“If I could putt better, I could really make a good run for this championship,” Taylor said at the time. “My goal is always to finish in the top 10.”