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Gus Malzahn and Bo Jackson: A Golf Game Within a Game
Gus Malzahn signs an autographs at Regions Tradition

June 5, 2013

By Charles Goldberg

HOOVER — Gus Malzahn couldn't wait to play golf at the Regions Tradition pro-am Wednesday. 

He and one of his partners hit from the fairway at the same time. He and Hale Irwin putted at the same time. His hurry-up offense knows no bounds, and, besides, he was in a hurry to know how the group was doing that was playing behind him. You know, the group with Bo Jackson. 

"We had a little game within a game," said Auburn's football coach of the school's second Heisman Trophy recipient.

The winner this Wednesday? "We kind of lost track of each other somewhere on the back 9." 

Still, Jackson good naturedly warned a photographer way away that he might be in harm's way on a short chip. "That's why they call me an am-a-teur," Jackson said. 

Rain really won the day, and the good causes of the Regions Tradition. Malzahn was chased off the course after 14 holes because of rain in the last stop before the Champions Tour plays the course for money at Shoal Creek starting Thursday. Malzahn was paired with one of golf's all-time greats, and Malzahn held his own, certainly off the tee, anyway. 

Malzahn guessed his handicap would be 12 "if played a lot." 

"I could probably shoot in the high 70s or low 80s," he said. 

But Malzahn really doesn't have time for golf. There's this football thing that keeps getting in the way, from mapping out the season, welcoming his newcomers this summer, hitting the speaking circuit on the school's Tiger Trek stops. 

Even Irwin, a three-time U.S. Open winner and the Champions Tour all-time winner, should be able to appreciate that. He was a two-time All-Big Eight defensive back at Colorado back in the day. 

"We talked a little football," Malzahn said. 

But the rain cut short that chat. Malzahn's team was chased off the course after 14, returned when the rain stopped, but was chased off the course by bad weather again. 

Besides, there were football things to do. 

"Players are working out with our strength coach, probably doing some things on their own," Malzahn said. "We're just waiting for the signees to come in." 

Malzahn said seven of the newcomers are already enrolled. The rest are expected to arrive in the middle of June for summer school's second semester.

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