For the most part, the pros played along, laughing, waving and throwing balls into the stands. On Friday, Tom Lehman, a Scottsdale resident, hit his tee shot to within inches of the hole, and when the crowd exploded, he punched his fist into the air and channeled his former Ryder Cup self (1999, not 2006). "I don't know if I'd want a steady diet of this every week," Joe Durant said, "but it is fun."
I LIKE John Daly," Allen was telling Berganio and the boys at dinner. "Who else do you see making a 12 on a hole, then walking off the course and saying, 'Shoot, I need a beer'?"
That got Leckey, a 6'3", 300-pound center, to thinking. "Can you play hung over?" he asked Berganio.
The 39-year-old Berganio said that he had, but only once, when he was in college at Arizona. (Earlier he had told the table that archrival Arizona State "is a four-year junior college.") Berganio and a teammate, who was also his roommate, stayed out so late that they each got less than an hour of sleep before teeing off. "I shot a 65," Berganio said. "My roommate beat me by three shots."
The football players laughed and asked Berganio about his life as a pro, his favorite course (Augusta National) and his workout routine (spinning classes nine times a week). Berganio talked about playing the 2008 season on a major medical extension because of back problems that have limited him for almost five years. He recalled winning the U.S. Publinks in 1991 and '93. He told the story of being born to a 15-year-old mother, growing up on welfare in the San Fernando Valley and learning to play golf through the generosity of a priest.
Leckey said he couldn't wait until he retired from football so he could improve on his 17 handicap and "blow up to 400 pounds and eat M&M's every day."
"The green ones. They're lower in calories," said Hutchins, a 5'10", 180-pound defensive back whose number floats between 12 and 14.
No one was counting calories at the Ocean Club, where the players fattened up on sautéed shrimp, lobster mashed potatoes and butter cake. Leckey said it was all part of his postseason routine: Every day for two weeks, he decompresses with some wine and a cigar. Then it's back to the gym.
With that, Berganio got up from the table, left the restaurant and returned with a Ziploc bag full of unmarked cigars. He grabbed a fistful and handed them out like party favors. "They've been sitting in my car since Monday," he said. "I like 'em dry."
Leckey held one up to his ear and slowly spun it between his fingers, listening for the crackle. "Feels like velvet," he said.