New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton Caddying For Ryan Palmer at 2013 Greenbrier Classic

By Brandon Raper
Chuck Cook – USA TODAY Sports

In the world of professional sports, if there’s one common denominator between the stars, it seems to be the love of golf. Many of the biggest stars from across multiple sports have attempted to cross over to some degree. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo has attempted to qualify for the U.S. Open several times, even reaching the sectional qualifiers back in 2011.

Michael Jordan, only the greatest basketball player of all time, spent much of his time off the court on the links, where he not only got to enjoy the game, but I’m sure the occasional cigar and — ahem — friendly wager. Jordan has even been an “official advisor and motivator” for the American Ryder Cup team. His Dream Team teammate, Charles Barkley, probably spent some of that time in Barcelona on the course with Jordan, but then, it doesn’t seem to have panned out quite as well for him.

This week, though, there’s a fun, different type of crossover happening at the Greenbrier Classic. New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton will actually be caddying for Ryan Palmer during the tournament in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.

In an interview on the Saints’ website, the two got a chance to talk about their friendship. Payton and Palmer have actually been friends for a number of years, and they met when Payton was still working for the Cowboys. Palmer, a native Texan, gets to spend time with Payton during the Zurich Classic in New Orleans and will attend a few Saints games, while Payton still gets back to Dallas a few times each year to play some pro-ams. This opportunity to caddie for Palmer was a result of a fun idea and some good timing.

The coach is obviously a phenomenal mentor and motivator on the football field, and it looks like it’s helping Palmer out this week at the Greenbrier. Palmer missed the cut at this event in his only previous appearance, in 2011, but is going to be playing this weekend. He made the cut on the number at one-under-par through the first two rounds.

They’ve got their work cut out for them, but maybe having Coach Payton in his corner can give Palmer that extra little competitive boost. Payton has never been one to shy away from a long-shot challenge.

Brandon Raper is a golf writer for “Like” him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @Brandon__Raper, or add him to your Google+ network.

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