Football is a sport where one wrong move can end your career. Golf is a sport that can be played in camouflage pants and an umbrella hat. They seemingly have little in common. Yet if you ever play a round at Kankakee Country Club in mid-July behind a foursome of monstrously large men, they might just be Chicago Bears. With the Ryder Cup up for grabs this weekend in Illinois, RedEye sat down with some of Chicago's biggest golfers.
What do you love about the Ryder Cup?
Roberto Garza: Anytime you get a chance to root for the U.S., you're always going to root for the U.S. But it's fun to see Tiger [Woods] play, fun to see those guys go out there and represent the United States and try to win it for us.
Patrick Mannelly: The fact that it's 12 on 12. And then the national pride behind the 12 on 12. It's 12 buddies vs. 12 buddies. It's two continents going against each other.
Adam Podlesh: The whole atmosphere is unbelievable. I remember when I was young, Oak Hill Country Club, which is in my hometown of Pittsford, N.Y., they had the Ryder Cup [in 2004]. Seeing the Concorde come into the city with all of the players from overseas, it really hit me: "This is a really cool tournament."
Chris Williams: It's the one time during the year where it's a golf team event. It's neat to see those guys in a team setting. I'm sure most of them haven't played golf in a team setting since college.
Are there any similarities between football and golf?
Blake Costanzo: Golf is such a long game and there are so many different things that can happen. And in football there are so many different things that can happen during a play, so just to stay focused.
Robbie Gould: There are a lot for kickers. From swing patterns to the mental side of it, where if you hit one bad shot you gotta let it go.
Say the Bears are having a Ryder Cup-style tournament, and you have first pick. Whom are you taking?
Costanzo: Adam Podlesh. That's word on the street. I haven't seen him play, but just from what I've heard, I'm definitely taking him.
Garza: Chris Williams. I think his short game's really impressive. He [also] drives it about 310, 315 [yards] right down the middle. He'd be my first pick.
Gould: Roberto Garza. He'd be a great alternate-shot partner.
Mannelly: I'd probably take Podlesh. Best golfer, especially for that event. He can make the most birdies down there.
Podlesh: Oh, that's tough. It would obviously be between Pat and Robbie. So it would be whoever's playing better at that time. I haven't seen Robbie play in a little bit. I was with Pat a little while ago and saw him play. I think if it were a fourball match, I'd pick Pat just because I think we would match up well together.
Williams: Garza, no doubt. He's the only guy on the team who's fun to ride in the cart with. [Laughs.] And he's got a pretty good short game too.
Special contributor Jack M Silverstein covers the Bears for RedEye. Say hey @readjack.
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