PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — A week ago, he was preparing for the Super Bowl.
Now, he’s prepping rain gear and his golf bag.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is in Pebble Beach this week in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. A late addition, he committed only 48 hours after the Broncos lost to the Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVII.
Manning and his pro partner, Scott Langley, aren’t near the top of the standings. Manning boasts a seven handicap but is a little rusty. He’s found himself in the sand a handful of times over the last few days and Langley’s double-bogey on hole 10 of Pebble Beach Friday didn’t help their cause. But Manning’s popularity here is immense and he’s clearly having fun with his fans.
You’re hard-pressed to find someone who asked for an autograph and didn’t get one. After hitting out of the sand at Pebble Beach, he pulled a kid under the ropes to sign his Broncos jersey. Yesterday, playing his first round on the Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shore Course, he played catch with another kid.
"Not that many people were there and we were finishing up our round in the dark and there was this little 10-year-old kid that had a football and Peyton went over and grabbed it and started walking down the fairway with it," Langley said. "The kid was like, ‘Oh my gosh, where’s my football?’ So he started chasing after Peyton and he turned around and signed it and then goes, ‘You’ve got to go back.’"
Wayne Gretzky bonds with Kid Rock, future son-in-law. READ MORE
Manning threw the kid a 30-yard touchdown strike, forever cementing himself as hero to him and his playing partner.
"That’s a bucket list moment for the kid," Langley said.
Langley, a Green Bay, Wisc., native, has tried to keep his Packer fandom under wraps while around Manning this week, although his caddy let it slip. They haven’t talked football and Langley hasn’t asked him for the many autographs his friends have been requesting. But he has paid careful attention to the competitiveness of one of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks and picked up a few tips along the way.
"What goes through his mind in certain situations, what he does in the offseason, (I’ve asked him) stuff like that," He said.
It’s an invitation Manning couldn’t turn down. While he would have liked to come under different circumstances, he’s happy to move on from football to play some golf.
"It’s a great tournament and a great cause so I was happy to get invited," Manning said. "I got in late Tuesday and played a practice round when the weather was a little better. Played with Coach Belichick and had a nice day. Playing these three great golf courses, I’ve enjoyed my time."