Carolina Panthers coach Ron Rivera and Charlotte 49ers coach Brad Lambert are used to pressure situations in football. Then they stepped to the first tee of the Wells Fargo Championship’s pro-am Monday and things got really stressful.
“I tell my guys all the time, third (down)-and-6 is pretty tough,” said Lambert. “But wait until you get out there and have all those people watching you when you’re teeing off. That’s something else.”
Said Rivera: “This is a different kind of stress level that I don’t usually experience.”
Rivera and Lambert have become friends during their time together coaching in Charlotte. They have another thing in common for next season. They’re both coaching an Olsen – Panthers tight end Greg and younger brother Kevin, who is the 49ers’ quarterback.
It’s offseason for both coaches, so they had time to play together in Monday’s pro-am with pro Trevor Immelman at Quail Hollow Club. The Panthers just finished their draft over the weekend, while the 49ers concluded spring practice April 23.
“The last month has been hectic,” Rivera said. “Any time you make a run in the playoffs and get to the Super Bowl, you lose those extra weeks those other teams have. So you’re in a hurry to get caught up. Now that the draft is past, I feel like we’ve caught up.
“But this is a good opportunity to get away and take a little bit of a breath.”
Rivera got some coaching help from his wife Stephanie, whom he said regularly beats him in golf.
“We play match play and she usually closes me out after 14 or 15 holes,” Rivera said. “If I win, though, I brag.”
Lambert got caddying help from his son Layne.
▪ Brian Stuard, who won the rain-delayed Zurich Open in New Orleans on Monday in a three-way playoffs, is playing at Quail Hollow this week.
The players Stuard beat in the playoff – Byeong-Hun An and Jamie Lovemark – will also be in Charlotte. Stuard tied for 38th at the Wells Fargo in 2015.
▪ Ticket sales have been brisk. Kym Hougham, the tournament’s executive director, said 30 percent of total tickets sold have come in the past 30 days.
▪ Jim Furyk, who won the Wells Fargo in 2006, will play for the first time since last fall. He’s been recovering from wrist surgery and plans to play in the Players Championship next week, too.
▪ Players had until 5 p.m. Friday to commit to play. The tournament office heard from Justin Rose, the world’s 10th-ranked player, at 4:57 p.m.
Corey Nagy qualifies
Former Charlotte 49ers All-American Corey Nagy was one of four players to qualify for the Wells Fargo Championship on Monday through the Carolinas PGA qualifier at Gaston Country Club.
Nagy, who attended Vance High, shot an 8-under 63, edging Blake Olson of St. Simons Island, Ga., Ethan Tracy of Galloway, Ohio and Charlotte-resident Mackenzie Hughes all by one stroke.
Wells Fargo Championship Schedule
At Quail Hollow Club, 3700 Gleneagles Rd, Charlotte
All day: Practice rounds
7:30 a.m., noon: Pro-am.
4 p.m.: Youth exhibition.
7 a.m.: First round begins
TV: Golf Channel, 4-7 p.m.
7 a.m.: Second round begins
TV: Golf Channel, 4-7 p.m.
8 a.m.*: Third round begins
TV: Golf Channel. 1-2:30 p.m.; CBS, 3-6 p.m.
7 a.m.: Mother’s Day sunrise service, 18th green
8 a.m.*: Final round begins
TV: Golf Channel, 1-2:30 p.m.; CBS, 3-6 p.m.
* time approximate