Ex-pitcher Smoltz to make pro golf debut

March 16, 2011 at 7:20 PM
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ATLANTA, March 16 (UPI) -- Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz said Wednesday he'll compete in the South Georgia Classic stop on pro golf's Nationwide Tour.

Smoltz, a likely future Hall-of-Famer who posted 213 wins, 154 saves and a Cy Young Award in his 21-year career -- 20 of them with the Braves -- told The Atlanta Journal Constitution he accepted a sponsor's invitation for the April 28-May 1 event at Valdosta, Ga.

"This is just something I want to try right now," Smoltz, 43, said. "I've said all along that I don't want to do this the wrong way and take spots [with sponsor exemptions] from people who are trying to have a career.

"But I want to see [what] it's like. I'm preparing for it as much as I can."

Smoltz last year fell short in an unlikely bid to qualify for the U.S. Open at Marietta Country Club. But with his sponsor's exemption to the South Georgia Classic, he'll compete in a PGA Tour co-sanctioned event for the first time, the newspaper said.

Smoltz is now a baseball commentator on the TBS and TNT cable television networks.

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