LEBANON, Ohio — Bengals left tackle Andrew Whitworth took some notes Sunday while playing in the Marvin Lewis Golf Classic here at Shaker Run Golf Course. But he already learned the biggest lesson from his head coach when he snagged Lewis himself to speak at his own foundation dinner next month in Louisiana.
Get the big names. Whitworth got the biggest name he could get in his neck of the woods when he secured Saints head coach Sean Payton last season the weekend he began his suspension. Now he'll have two straight NFL head coaches as speakers.
"Any tournament you get to play, you're always looking to see what they do to make yours better," said Whitworth, who grabbed a post-round lunch with quarterback Andy Dalton.
"This thing is just so huge. He does a great job of making it fun for everybody. The auction items are unbelievable. The list of guys playing is unbelievable. And all the gear they give you. Golf balls, everything. They don't leave anything out, that's for sure."
Whitworth is still tweaking the June 15 "An Evening With Big Whit." After Lewis speaks, Whitworth plans to close the dinner with a few words about Jaleel Gibson. Gibson, a high school player from Farmerville, La., died last week from injuries suffered during a football drill and Whitworth wrote a check for the funeral. He also plans to go to Farmerville at some point and speak to the team, a trip that doesn't take him very far from the area where his foundation focuses to help needy children and encourages schools to groom leaders.
"It's about five to 10 miles outside of Ruston," Whitworth said. "A mother on the team sent me an email wondering if I could speak to the team. But after reading about it and talking to some people, I wanted to do more than that."
URBAN RENEWAL: Bengals radio analyst Dave Lapham wanted to pick the brain of Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and it turned out to be the other way around Saturday night at Lewis's VIP bash. When Lapham surfaced at his table, Meyer pointed to him and said to his wife, "This is one of the guys I was talking about."
Meyer, who spent his early childhood in Cincinnati, never stopped following his Bengals after the family moved north.
"One of the reasons he wanted to come down is because he knew there would be some guys from those teams in the '70s," Lapham said. "He said he had them on his wall when he was a kid and that he could name the 11 offensive starters, 11 defensive starters and the specialists. And he did. He was asking me about (linebacker) Al Beauchamp. That's a big fan."
Lapham couldn't catch up with Meyer on Sunday. He said Meyer had to miss the tourney to watch his son play in a baseball tournament in West Chester, Ohio.
TWO CINCY GUYS: Bengals first-year linebacker J.K. Schaffer got introduced to Bengals Hall of Famer Anthony Muñoz on Sunday after the round and told him, "I grew up here and played at UC. I know everything about you."
Since Schaffer had all the info on him, Muñoz pumped him about a career that began at LaSalle High School. A conversation about football and golf ensued and it doesn't take long to figure that Schaffer loves to play both.
Schaffer prefers getting up early in the morning to play golf if he's got an off day, rather than going out at night. After working this past Monday through Thursday at Paul Brown Stadium, he was out early Friday and Saturday at Miami Whitewater.
Schaffer displays tenacity in both. He struggled when he was called on for the Celebrity Closest to the Hole contest, a 129-yard shot he flayed. As everyone left to begin the tournament, he stayed behind and hit a few more with his wedge he has had bent and shaped enough so it comes out to about 53-54 degrees. He ended up hitting it 10 feet away.
But former Browns running back/fullback Ernie Green did it when it mattered and took home the trophy. At 74, Green now has another claim to fame because he has to be the oldest guy to win the event in its 10 years.
It's not his biggest claim to fame, though. During his seven seasons, the Browns won an NFL title while he ran with and blocked for both Jim Brown and Leroy Kelly.
WINNERS: It is all for Lewis's Scholarship Fund that awarded five $20,000 college scholarships after the round: Kaia Amoah, Walnut Hills High School, Hampton University, pre-med; Kalub Jones, Purcell Marian High School, University of Cincinnati, mechanical engineering; Jake Brauning, Moeller High School, Arizona State, physical therapy; Stefanie Schwarm, Seton High School, Xavier, nursing; Nick Whitmore, Mason High School, University of Toledo, pre-med.