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How does a Heisman candidate unwind after a game? This one played some (bad) golf

September 16, 2014

So, how does a leading Heisman Trophy candidate and potential No. 1 pick in the NFL draft unwind after a game? Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota does his homework, if playing golf can be considered as such.


(Getty Images photo)

Mariota, who we already know is taking only two classes, golf and yoga, played nine holes on Sunday the day after the Ducks' 48-14 victory over Wyoming, with their Pacific 12 opener at Washington State on deck.

"I just wanted to unwind a little," he told reporters regarding the nine holes he played at Oakway Golf Course in Eugene.

Mariota said he shot 49. Now Oakway is only 3,576 yards and plays to a par of 61. Assuming he went out on the front nine (par 31), he played it in 18-over par, confirming that he is not nearly as adept at hitting a ball as he is throwing one.

"Marcus is new," teammate and backup quarterback Jeff Lockie told the Oregonian last month. Lockie and star center Hroniss Grasu are his frequent playing partners. "I took him out playing about a year ago. No good. He was slapping it around. He hated it. Said he never wanted to play again. Takes the golf class. Now he's in my phone every day wanting to play. He's graduated. Let's play, let's play.' I'm in the middle of my business school. He's playing way more."

Mariota indeed has his degree, in general sciences, hence his light workload away from football.

"He's gotten a lot better," Grasu said. "Last summer it was hard for him to get the ball up off the ground. But now, in this past off-season, he's getting the ball consistently up in the air. He finally got some new clubs as a graduation present from his parents. He's hooked."

Grasu isn't sure that that's a good thing. "Hroniss always gives me a bad time about swinging a golf club, because he's like, I don't want you twist your back. I don't want you to do anything like that,'" Mariota said.