By Teresa Varley
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will spend the next week focused on football, but after that it will be golf that occupies his mind for a little while.
Roethlisberger will be taking part in the 2009 Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge, along with Michael Jordan and Justin Timberlake. The three will be joined by an amateur golfer who wins an online contest.
The challenge the foursome will face is to break a score of 100 on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park where the U.S. Open will be held this year.
Roethlisberger will be golfing next Friday, after the team's OTA's end, and the 18-hole round will air on NBC Sports on Sunday, June 21 prior to the final-round of the U.S. Open.
"They asked me to play in it and I would love to do it," said Roethlisberger. "It's an awesome opportunity to be able to do it."
Rocco Mediate, a golfer on the PGA tour who hails from Greensburg, Pa., will give Roethlisberger a hand as he serves as his caddie. Roethlisberger and Mediate have been talking back and forth and the quarterback is looking forward to some good golf tips.
"I am going to have to get tips," said Roethlisberger. "He is a good guy. Hopefully I can call him out for some bad reads."
The challenge won't be easy as each year the U.S. Open chooses one of the toughest courses in the country and often adapts the course to make it tougher.
"It's like the Super Bowl," said Roethlisberger. "The course is one of the toughest courses they ever have, regardless of where it is,, that's the way they make it. It's one, if not the toughest golf course in the country, long and narrow with a lot of carry. I am looking forward to it."
Roethlisberger has gotten some practice in this offseason, but still knows this will be a challenge.
"I play quite a bit, as much as I can," said Roethlisberger. "I don't know if I will ever be as ready as I want to be, but it's next week so we'll see what happens."