Fitzgerald Still Going Strong

Fitzgerald Still Going Strong

JIM WORKMAN


There's no sign of slowing down for Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.

The 33-year old veteran had one of his best seasons in 2016, grabbing 107 passes for 1,023 yards and four touchdowns.

To top his Pro Bowl season, he was selected as the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year for his accomplishments in the community.

He enters his 14th season in the NFL this year.

On the field, off the field.

The guy still has "it."

No doubt about it, he's well on his way to a Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement, even as he continues to terrorize defending cornerbacks and safeties in the league.

His 1,125 receptions place him third on the all-time NFL list.

With 14,389 receiving yards, he leads all active players and is ninth on the all-time list, and eighth overall in TD receptions with 104.

Fitzgerald knows much more than football however. Always looking for ways to compete, he has recently found a new passion: golf.

He estimates he plays about 300 rounds per year, sometimes as many as 36 holes in a single day in the spring and summer.

"After my workout in the morning, and after I drop my kids off at school, I play some rounds," Fitzgerald revealed prior to playing in the Pro-Am during The Greenbrier Classic. "That's my daily routine now. It's fun."

With golf, "There is no pressure," Fitzgerald, a seven handicap, said.

"Not for me," he explained. "I'm not a tour pro. I'm not going to be (on the PGA Tour) on the weekend. It doesn't matter. That's for the guys that make the cut and do this professionally."

Fitzgerald played in the Pro-Am with PGA Tour pro Boo Weekley, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice and Willie Robertson, of "Duck Dynasty" fame.

"I'm here for a great time," Fitzgerald said with a smile. "Just a little friendly game with a couple buddies out there, enjoying the course and enjoying the company. That's what it's all about for me."

Three or four Cardinals teammates usually accompany him on golf outings, even in the season.

"When our practice is over, we go running to the course and get as many in before the sun goes down," Fitzgerald said, admitting he influenced the bunch. 

The Minnesota native grew up around sports, as his dad was a sports writer in the Minneapolis area. Larry even served as a ball boy for the Minnesota Vikings as a teen, under Dennis Green who later drafted him as head coach at Arizona.

"My first introduction (to golf) originally was when Tiger Woods came to Minnesota for the First Tee program over at Hiawatha, the public course that my dad played all the time," Fitzgerald recalled. "I got a chance to meet Tiger Woods. He helped me on the range, when I was real young." 

Fitzgerald was around other sports superstars as a child, mentioning Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan and the usually surly former Cleveland Indians outfielder Albert Belle as memorable encounters.

A couple of decades later, he's making an impression himself - on the field and off.

 

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (far left) played in the Greenbrier Classic Pro Am with Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty and PGA Tour pro Boo Weekley on July 5, 2017. Photo by Barry Alderman, RSN Sports.

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (far left) played in the Greenbrier Classic Pro Am with Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty and PGA Tour pro Boo Weekley on July 5, 2017. Photo by Barry Alderman, RSN Sports.

Larry Fitzgerald - Pro career highlights

 

No. 3 overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft

NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award (2016)

10 time Pro Bowl selection

Three time All Pro (2008, 1st team; 2009, 2011 2nd)

Two time NFL receptions leader (2005, 2016)

Two time TD receptions leader (2008, 2009)

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