Justin Timberlake is my nominee for Sportsman of the Year (entertainer division). First, he broke 100 at Torrey Pines just days before the 2008 United States Open in a televised challenge hosted by Golf Digest and NBC. Then he was funny and credible as the host of the ESPY Awards. He is also a 6 handicap and is designing a golf course in the Memphis area, his hometown. My Times colleague Joe Brescia had a sports-related question-and-answer session with Timberlake on the eve of the ESPYs:
Q: Are you really a 6 handicap?
A: My handicap goes from about 4 to 10, depending if I’m on tour or not. I haven’t been on tour this year, so I’m playing a lot.
Q: What are some of the details about the eco-friendly course you are developing?
A: I found out that the course in Memphis, where my dad taught me to hit my first golf ball when I was 11, was going to be auctioned off and turned into a suburban development. So we scooped in and bought it. We are going to solar-power the clubhouse and use eco-friendly sod. I’m learning more about the environment from this project than I ever have.
Q: Do you have any funny habits on the golf course?
A: I always joke with my caddie and blame him if I mess up. I heckle him and say, ‘You gave me the wrong reads; you’re the worst caddie of all time.’ »
Q: What do you consider your most embarrassing sports moment?
A: I try and stay out of those situations. But I never scored a 10 on a golf hole in my life until I played the ninth hole at Torrey Pines. That was a little tough on my psyche.
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