Golf Digest, the United States Golf Association and NBC Sports have announced that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Justin Timberlake will join Michael Jordan in the 2009 Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge. The three celebrities will play with one amateur golfer who will be determined by online voting.
The foursome will play the Black Course at Bethpage State Park, the site of the 2009 U.S. Open, and attempt to break a score of 100. The 18-hole round will be taped by NBC Sports and air on Sunday, June 21st from 12:00pm -- 1:30pm ET, immediately prior to the final-round broadcast of the U.S. Open.
All three celebrities have a single-digit Handicap and have been included in previous Golf Digest rankings of athletes and musicians. In the 2007 list of the top athlete-golfers, Jordan ranked T-30 with a Handicap of 1.2 and Roethlisberger ranked T-121 with a Handicap of 7. Timberlake, the host of the PGA Tour's Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, was ranked T-15 with a Handicap of 6 in Golf Digest's 2008 "Top 100 in Music" list. Timberlake played in the 2008 Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge and shot 98 at Torrey Pines
Butch Harmon, who is ranked No.1 in Golf Digest's "America's 50 Greatest Teachers" list, will once again caddie for Timberlake. Fred Couples, the 15-time PGA TOUR winner and 1992 Masters champion, will caddie for Jordan. Roethlisberger's caddie will be announced at a later date.
Voting for the amateur participant runs through April 30th at www.gdopencontest.com. The four finalists are: Philippe de Kerillis (Erdenheim, PA), Larry Giebelhausen (Scottsdale, AZ), Dale Matthews (McLean, VA) and Bob Ray (Arnold, MD). Voters can make one selection each day and are automatically entered for the chance to win daily prizes and multiple grand prizes, including two trips to the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
In the December 2008 issue, Golf Digest asked readers to submit a six-word statement on why they thought they could break 100 at Bethpage Black. The four finalists were narrowed down from 73,581 entries.