Derek Carr used to roam the Edgewood Golf Course in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada, as a child each summer when his brother, David, participated in the American Century Championship Celebrity tournament.
Now, the Las Vegas Raiders quarterback is preparing to play in his second straight tournament there. The tournament runs July 8-10, with the festivities beginning July 6.
Carr said in a press conference, promoting the event Monday, that playing golf is similar to football in some ways, because he gets to hone in on his competitiveness. Carr, a 500-1 longshot to win the event (former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is the 11-4 betting favorite to win the tournament), made it clear he is going to try to win the event, even though he knows that may be unlikely.
Carr finished 30th last year as an American Century rookie. He said it made him “sick” to do that poorly, even though in reality, it was quite a respectable finish. Carr said it’s his goal to beat the other quarterbacks in the field and it’s an impressive group. The other current NFL quarterbacks scheduled to play in the event are Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen. The retired quarterback scheduled to play are Romo, Steve Young, Robert Griffith, David Carr, Carson Palmer, Joe Theismann and Jim McMahon. Yes, Derek wants to beat his big brother badly and he admitted the two will surely have some side bets.
There will also be a strong Raiders’ feel in Lake Tahoe. Raiders Pro Football Hall of Famers Marcus Allen, Tim Brown, Charles Woodson and Jerry Rice are all competing with Carr in the beautiful setting.
Carr said he had a “blast” interacting with fans (the 17th hole is famous at Edgewood for wild fan-player interactions). Carr recalled one Chiefs’ fan blaring “that annoying Chiefs’ music” every time Carr passed him. Also, a fan bet Carr $100 he could throw a golf ball further than him. Carr walked away $100 richer.
Carr said he fell in love with golf as a child and often went to the course with his father. Now, Carr takes his children golfing. He also bonds with teammates on the golf course. Carr said he and new Raiders’ top receiver Davante Adams were throwing together on a football field early Monday morning and then were going to hit the golf course later Monday.
He has also golf several times this year with new Las Vegas coach Josh McDaniels.
“Josh is good,” Carr said. “He hits the ball straight. He can swing the club.”
Of course, Carr and McDaniels spend time on the golf course, plotting the season. Carr called McDaniels an offensive genius.
“I’ve been very impressed with Josh,” Carr said. “The depth of conversations are very encouraging. I feel like I’m becoming a better football player and he’s helping me grow.”
Carr is fired up for training camp to start (the Raiders’ veterans report July 20), but first he’s working on his golf game.
“It’s just such a fun time.” Carr said. “I’m always competing.”