Original LT back, focused on top-10 finish
By Steve Yingling
STATELINE – To look at Lawrence Taylor, you’d never know that he was no longer playing in the National Football League. His shoulders and chest remain massive and he still brandishes one of the most intense stares in sports.
But at 48, the Hall of Fame linebacker’s life now revolves around a little white ball.
“I love the game. I like gambling a little bit, so it affords me to do everything I like to do in life,” Taylor said. “I’ve never played and not actually gambled.”
Taylor hasn’t lost his sense of humor either.
“When I’m on the golf course, that’s less time that I have to talk to you guys,” said LT, letting out a slight chuckle.
Taylor is returning to the championship for the first time in 12 years. The 10-time Pro Bowler with the New York Giants was jailed three times for drug possession following his retirement in 1993.
But that troubled part of LT’s life is behind him as now everything revolves around golf. Immersing himself in the sports means returning to the American Century Championship, an event he last played in 1995.
“I was out here for a lot of years and I went through some problems. … they kind of left me off the list,” LT said. “About five or six years ago they started inviting me, but I really didn’t want to come to this tournament.
“I decided to come this time, and I’m gonna have fun while I’m out here.”
Taylor finished a respectable 20th in 1995 and is one of the big unknowns coming into the weekend.
“I know some guys who play with him down in Florida, so I have an idea of how he plays. I know he plays decent down there and he plays a lot,” said four-time champion Dan Quinn.
Twentieth place, however, won’t cut it for Taylor this time around.
“Rumor has it that I can play the game a little bit. I’m a much better player now than I was. I’m looking to be somewhere in the top 10,” he said.
Fans won’t see him in the long drive contest, though.
“I’m 48 years old. There ain’t but one thing long on me, and that’s my fingers,” Taylor said.