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Swagger and some sweat as celebs tee off at Ryder Cup

Updated: October 27, 2012 6:25AM



Wilmette native Bill Murray, in a classically loud, purplish outfit, had a swagger about him after the celebrity scramble at Medinah Country Club on Tuesday.

‘‘If you can putt these greens, you’re a happy man,’’ the actor/comedian said. ‘‘I made some putts. I’m feeling pretty cocky right now. I feel like pushing someone — maybe not someone my size.’’

Murray teamed up with Justin Timberlake, Dick Stockton and Tom Lehman to finish tied for second at 6-under par. The winning team consisted of Michael Phelps, George Lopez, Hal Sutton and Lanny Wadkins, who finished at 9-under.

Phelps insisted his teammates carried him. At the first tee, he said, he was shaking so much he could barely tee up his ball.

‘‘I mean, that was nuts,’’ he said. ‘‘Everyone is sitting there and watching you and yelling and cheering. This is something I’ve never experienced.

‘‘I had great teammates. They helped me relax after a couple of shots. They were crushing it out there. Killing the ball and making some putts.’’

Phelps said his friends routinely beat him, but he’s going to focus more on the sport.

‘‘This is the next challenge for me in my life,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve been able to do some good things in the pool. But this is a very, very frustrating game, a very tough game, and you have to pay attention to all the small things.’’

Phelps was joined in the celebrity scramble by some Chicago athletes. Bears kicker Robbie Gould was asked to fill in for Cubs legend Ernie Banks on Monday.

‘‘I was happy to get the invite,’’ Gould said. ‘‘It’s an unbelievable experience to be able to get inside the ropes at one of the most prestigious events of all time.’’

Scottie Pippen and Richard Dent also were on hand, along with Stan Mikita. Pippen celebrated his birthday when fans serenaded him on the tee box.

‘‘That was breathtaking. That was real nice,’’ Pippen said. ‘‘I wasn’t expecting that. I appreciate it, and that was the most people I’ve ever had at my birthday party.’’

The golf was another story.

‘‘I’m glad it’s over,’’ Pippen said. ‘‘We didn’t particularly score well as a team, but that’s fine.’’

Asked if he could play with his former Bulls teammate Michael Jordan, Pippen said, “I don’t know. I didn’t put on a good show today.’’

With thousands of fans on hand, Murray said it was ‘‘Ryder Cup pressure.’’ Lopez, meanwhile, had so much fun it made him more inclined to return in the future.

‘‘I don’t spend enough,’’ he said. ‘‘I’ve been here for a week. People go to Europe, and they go vacation in Hawaii. I come to Chicago, when the weather is like this, and just play golf and have a great time.’’

Murray insisted that the European players will get a kick out of the fans at Medinah.

‘‘I think Europeans will like Chicago fans because they’re loud, but they like good golf,’’ Murray said. ‘‘They’re going to cheer for the good guys, but they’re going to cheer for the bad guys too.’’



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