Jul 16, 2011, 5:54 PM EST
So Jimmer Fredette was paired with Charles Barkley for the second day of the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe (Nev.) on Saturday. They began the morning on the 10th tee, where Barkley took Fredette aside, wrapped a huge arm around his shoulders and said:
“You’re with me today. I’m going to take care of you.”
And Fredette indeed followed Barkley like a little brother, absorbing plenty of advice about basketball and (shudder) golf during the course of the day. “Never sign autographs while you’re playing,” Barkley counseled. “Wait until after each hole.”
Of course tournament rules state that celebrities aren’t supposed to sign until they finish nine holes, but when has Barkley ever followed the rules?
Then, on No. 17 (the first fairway that abuts Lake Tahoe), Fredette got his first chance to play golf in front of a big crowd. This is where the boat people congregate — anchoring their boats and watching from the beach. Of course, there were plenty of signs. My favorite:
“I’m not Mormon,” said Tate Golden of Phoenix (middle, holding the sign). But I’d be willing to read the Book of Mormon for Jimmer.” Golden and her friends (Taylor, Jenny, Melissa, Megan, and Jenn all attend St. Mary’s near Oakland and drove up to see Jimmer.
How bad a golfer is he? See below:
Jimmer loves nature! Here he’s trying to extract his ball from the woods somewhere near the 16th fairway, looking as nimble as a woodland creature. He was only partially successful — getting the ball only as far as the cart path. Barkley’s influence knows no bounds. Literally. Jimmer is in last place here, behind even Barkley.
This is despite the presence of Hank Haney, who was coaching both Barkley and Fredette on Saturday.
Rick Chandler, reporting from the Tahoe Celebrity Golf Tournament, was not allowed to park in the media lot at the Edgewood course, and had to park in the Harvey’s Casino parking garage.
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