Should Jerry Rice Get Exemption?
By mustang6560 on 4/19/12
Last week on the Nationwide Tour, tournament host and former NFL star Jerry Rice competed in the TPC Stonebrae Championship. But, his participation in the event drew some criticism again after he withdrew midway through the second round.

In the first round, Jerry shot an 86 and he was on pace to shoot another round in the mid-80s when he decided to withdraw.
Jerry Rice deserves credit for raising the profile of the Nationwide Tour's annual event in Hayward, but he no longer deserves a spot in the tournament - not after withdrawing midway through the second round last week.

Yes, the weather was a miserable blend of rain, wind and cold. Yes, 12 tour pros also bailed after they posted high opening-round scores and it became clear they would miss the cut.

It still looks bad - very bad - when the tournament host bails.
The Nationwide Tour, which is the developmental tour for the PGA Tour, needs all the attention it can get, even gimmicky attention like Jerry playing in his own tournament. So Jerry shot a number that is higher than his old jersey number, what did it hurt?

I highly doubt Jerry is truly taking away a spot in the field from an up-and-coming golfer. I bet more fans turned out to watch Jerry play golf then Alex Aragon. Who is Alex Aragon? Exactly my point. He won the tournament, yet no one even knows who he is.

I say let Jerry play as long as he can break 90. What do you think?

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[ comments ]
mjaber says:
If they want Jerry to play, they should turn it into a Pro-Am. He may not be taking a spot away from someone, but he's not helping anyone either.
TeT says:
Yes, he did not keep a potential winner out of the scene
guzzlingil says:
Didn't he get an exemption for some tourny last year ...and shoot in the upper 80's....??
mjaber says:
@guzz... he was DQ'd last year (I think in the same tourney) for using a range-finder.
jpjeffery says:
Never mind all that, who's the pretty young lady with the fabulous smile?
guzzlingil says:
damn @jaber.....!! LMAO!!!!!
bkuehn1952 says:
If they want celebrity golfers, put a 3-some at the end of the field. Won't bother any of the pros too much yet allows them to pull in people more interested in celebrities than good golf. As far as bailing in the middle of the round, shame on Jerry. When you make a committment, you grind it out to the end. You have to anticipate at times things will be a mess (weather and score). If you don't have the stomach for posting a 90 or playing in the rain, don't agree to play in the tournament.
bducharm says:
If Jerry Rice can play then so should I!!! I can beat him - would love to play some of these celebrity "golfers" for some cash!!!
mmontisano says:
it's not that he's taking a spot from someone who can win, it's that he's taking a spot from someone who most likely really NEEDS the spot to earn some cash. he doesn't need the money, so why take it from someone who does?
Banker85 says:
If he isnt eve going to even finish then hell no! give the spot to someone else next year.
wrhall02 says:
Golf is brutally honest, especially during a Pro Tournament, the scorecard says it all. I love ya Jerry...but let your dream of being a PGA player go.

It's sad that even the PGA bows to the fascination with celebrity. IMO, exemptions should only be used to enhance the field, e.g. invite really good Pros that for whatever reason did not qualify for the Tourney.
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