In what he said was a complete team win, SportsCenter anchor Stan Verrett stroked his way to victory on Tuesday in the annual pro-am tournament prior to the PGA TOUR Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines Golf Club in San Diego. It was Verrett’s second consecutive win in the event, and he’s won both years he’s teed it up.
Verrett, an avid golfer currently playing at an 11 handicap, was paired with three athletes in the celebrity event: former USMNT soccer star Landon Donovan; professional skateboarder Jagger Eaton, once the youngest competitor in X Games history; and former MLB player Shane Victorino.
The four-person team, joined by PGA TOUR players Adam Schenk and JJ Spaun, played 18 holes against other celebrity teams in a “shamble” format.
Update: WE WON!!!! 💪🏽🏌🏾♀️⛳️🏆 https://t.co/YPdg2HpwKc
— stan verrett (@stanverrett) January 23, 2024
“We take the best drive of the amateurs, and then everybody plays a ball from there,” said Verrett, who anchors the 1 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter that originates in Los Angeles. “Each pro is with us for nine holes, but we can’t use their shots except on the Par 3s. But they can give us tips.”
Verrett said he isn’t the longest hitter but feels confident in his wedge play and with his putter.
“I made a putt for birdie from off the green, about a 40-footer, and that started a run of four birdies in a row that I contributed to the team,” he said. “But everybody had their moments.
“Jagger hits the ball a mile; I mean, he was mashing it, and so does Shane,” he said. “So we had a lot of wedges and short irons into greens playing off of their drives. Landon hit a lot of good iron shots.
“And Adam Schenk, the pro, gave me a tip that really helped,” he said. “I tend to pull the club too far inside, and he helped me on keeping the club in front of me. JJ gave us some tips, and we used one of his balls. So everybody contributed, and it wasn’t like anyone was dead weight.”
Verrett, who said he plays twice a week and sometimes more, played golf in the summer when he was based at ESPN’s main studios in Bristol, Conn., but his game elevated when he moved to Los Angeles in 2009.
“I got really serious about it when I got out here,” he said. “I didn’t really start taking lessons and trying to get better until I got to California.”
PGA TOUR LIVE’s four-stream coverage of the Farmers Insurance Open on ESPN+ began Wednesday and continues through the end of the tournament on Saturday. Coverage includes Marquee and Featured groups as well as Featured Holes.