SNOQUALMIE – For former Seahawks safety Jordan Babineaux, things really went downhill on the closing stretch of his golf match against current Seahawks tackle Bradley Sowell.
The man known during his playing days as "Big Play Babs" was not able to come up big under pressure while playing TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, the home of this week's Boeing Classic, while playing the course during the tournament's media day earlier this month.
Standing just off the fairway after a huge drive on the Par 5 15th hole, Babineaux had a chance to reach the green in two and perhaps cut into Sowell's two-stroke lead. Instead Babineaux hooked his approach into the woods, to kick off a five-over par finish over the final four holes. Sowell, meanwhile, played that stretch 1-under par to earn not just bragging rights and the chance to talk a lot of smack, but also the right to send out a tweet from Babineaux's Twitter account.
"It's always me versus the course, but he's a good player too," Babineaux said. "As much as competitors try not to think about their opponent, when you see your opponent hit a good shot, it's kind of like, boom, take that… He's a good player, but I want a rematch."
A rematch against Sowell, whose handicap has ranged between 1.8 and 3.5 recently, could prove tough to win for Babineaux, himself a skilled golfer having taken up the game when he was 13.
"I just had to stay cool and stay within my game," Sowell said. "I could tell he was trying to keep up with my drives, and it just wasn't good for him. He was trying to swing too hard trying to keep up with me."
Sowell took up golf pretty recently in life, only trying it because an uncle back home in Mississippi gave him a Callaway gift card, which Sowell used to buy a set of irons during his senior year at the University of Mississippi. He proved to be a quick study, playing a lot during the NFL offseason, particularly during three seasons with Arizona. He is one of several avid golfer's on the current roster a group that also includes kicker Steven Hauschka and receiver Jermaine Kearse. And as you might expect from an offensive lineman, length is a big part of Sowell's game.
"I hit it a decent ways, but I'm 315 pounds, so I should hit it a decent ways," Sowell said.
For Babineaux, golf was something he took up at a young age mostly because his older brothers were doing it, and it became something he enjoyed throughout his NFL career, playing with former Seahawks teammates like Lofa Tatupu, Niko Koutouvides and Sean Locklear.
"Golf is very relatable to how I live my life—there's always room for improvement," Babineaux said. "There's lessons in golf, as with all sports, that you can relate to life."
In addition to having fun taking verbal shots at each other, the two also very much enjoyed testing their games on the course that will host some of the world's best senior players this weekend.
"It's a fun, fair layout," Sowell said. "Not too hard, not too easy. If you hit good shots, you'll shoot well, if you hit bad shots, you'll shoot a bad score."
Added Babineaux: "I love that course, it's legit. It's the kind of course where you feel like you have to elevate your game just because of what that course represents. It's a championship-style course."