Packers’ backer wins tight long drive contest |

Packers’ backer wins tight long drive contest

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

STATELINE – Green Bay Packers’ linebacker A.J. Hawk is a rookie in the American Century Championship, but it didn’t take him long to warm up to the annual Korbel Long Drive Competition.

Hawk launched a 322-yard drive to win a tightly contested event in his first try Friday at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. The top-five participants were separated by four yards.

After setting the standard early in the contest, 13 celebrities tried and failed to top the drive. ACC 2007 tournament winner Chris Chandler came up a yard short of equaling Hawk on the last of his three attempts.

Wally Szczerbiak of the Cleveland Cavaliers was a close third at 320 yards. Former Baltimore Ravens’ offensive lineman Jonathan Ogden, an 11-time NFL Pro Bowl selection, was fourth at 319 yards. Retired NBA All-Star/WNBA coach Bill Laimbeer, making his first appearance in the championship in eight years, placed fifth with a best drive of 318 yards.

Ten of the 17 competitors hit a drive more than 300 yards, including entertainers Ray Romano and Alfonso Ribeiro.