Celebrity golf: Rhoden qualifies for Senior Open | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Celebrity golf: Rhoden qualifies for Senior Open

Steve Yingling

STATELINE – Don’t expect to find six-time championship winner Rick Rhoden anywhere near Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course today.

Rhoden spent Monday qualifying for the U.S. Senior Open as temperatures soared above the century mark at Pinnacle Country Club in Scottsdale, Ariz. Afterward, he wasted no time getting to the American Century Championship and played in practice rounds Tuesday and Wednesday.

“I’ve been playing too many days in a row,” Rhoden said. “I just don’t want to play every day, it wears you out.”

Rhoden shot a 4-under-par 68 to qualify for the U.S. Senior Open for the second time. Last time, Rhoden missed the 36-hole Open cut by a mere stroke.

But he knows what he’s up against this time at the July 26-31 Open at the NCR Country Club in Kettering, Ohio.

“It’s hard because you just don’t play in those kind of conditions. The greens are fast, the pins are tucked, the course is tight, it’s just hard,” Rhoden said. “The rough is high and you get two or three shots that I never get. Those guys who have been playing golf for 20 years, they get it three or four times a year and they know what to do. I have a tendency to hit it too far and do some things you shouldn’t do.”

Rhoden, the championship’s all-time money leader with $782,289, was scheduled to have surgery to repair a pair of herniated disks in the back of his neck following last year’s tournament. But the 2004 runner-up’s doctor delayed the surgery when Rhoden’s pain subsided.

“It comes and goes,” Rhoden said. “If it starts bothering me, I lay off. If if doesn’t, I’m playing. When it’s not bothering me I play pretty good, but when it does, it keeps me from getting behind the ball and doing what I want to do.”

Faulk accepts second-string role

Several years removed from being one of the best all-around backs in the NFL, Marshall Faulk is adjusting to his new role with the St. Louis Rams.

Pretraining camp reports insist that Faulk will back up Stephen Jackson, a second-year player from Oregon State University.

“That’s what it is and I’m fine with that,” Faulk said. “I’m sure it’s gonna be an adjustment, but nothing I’m not willing to take on.”

Faulk was the starter last year, but Jackson got more carries as the season wore on.

“I like him a lot,” Faulk said. “He has to learn how to play the game, find his niche and learn the things he can do and the things he needs to work on.

“I don’t know if I’m a great teacher, but I know a lot about the game. I feel there are some things I can share with (Jackson) and make him a better player.”

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