Vrabel Ties With Charles Barkley at Celebrity Golf Event


The Tennessee Titans head coach was consistent en route to his worst finish yet at the American Century Championship.

Mike Vrabel was more consistent in his third appearance at the American Century Championship than he was in his first two.

He just was not as good.

The Tennessee Titans head coach finished tied for 76th in a field of 88 at the 54-hole celebrity golf tournament at Lake Tahoe, which concluded Sunday. He tied with Charles Barkley, a Hall of Famer in basketball who has gained notoriety in retirement for the generally disastrous state of his golf game.

“I walked into Ohio State and Urban Meyer was the head coach and he kept me on that second year,” Vrabel said during a press conference a couple weeks prior to the tournament. “And he said, ‘Lou Holtz told me I don’t want any coaches with good handicaps. That means they’re not focusing on recruiting and coaching.’ I always take that to heart.”

If that is the case, Titans fans can feel good about how much time Vrabel has spent this offseason trying to fix a defense that was historically bad on third down in 2020, working to identify players to replenish a roster depleted by salary cap concerns and scheming ways to finish first in the AFC South once again.

In three rounds, he made just two birdies, both on Saturday. He also made 17 birdies, 23 double bogies and a mere 12 pars. Under the Modified Stableford scoring system employed at the event, his score was minus-28.

He capped the tournament with a minus-10 on Sunday after having scored minus-9 on Friday and Saturday.

Vrabel finished in the top 50 in each of the previous two years, and both times he had at least one round with a positive score.

But then, he sort of predicted that the best part of the week would be the start.

“Everybody kind of lets their guard down and enjoys that opening night meeting, where everybody’s kind of getting together and introducing the people that they don’t know and saying hello,” Vrabel said last month. “You kind of find out, ‘Hey, I loved you as a player, I follow the Titans,’ or whatever it might be. And next thing you know you’re at a blackjack table and you’re sitting next to somebody that you watched on TV or something like that.

“So, it is fun, it’s a great chance to go meet other families and players around our league that I haven’t had a chance to coach but have admired from afar.”

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