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Panthers’ Adam Thielen relishes Brooks Koepka compliment, prepares for golf tournament


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The NFL world knows what Carolina Panthers wide receiver Adam Thielen brings to the table on Sundays, but the golf world is just getting a taste.

Thielen has turned heads participating in the American Century Championship and various pro-ams. 

He’s even received a compliment from five-time major winner Brooks Koepka, who believed the football star could one day turn pro if he had about eight months to fine-tune his game.

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Adam Thielen in Texas

Adam Thielen tees off on the 16th hole during the second round of the PGA Tour Champions ClubCorp Classic at Las Colinas Country Club April 23, 2022, in Irving, Texas. (Ben Jared/PGA Tour via Getty Images)

“I got so much respect for him, and for him to say those things obviously means a lot,” Thielen told Fox News Digital in a recent interview. “I think after he said that my golf game went from decent to really bad. So, he kinda jinxed me, but no, it’s really cool.

“It was such a great honor to play with him,” Thielen said of his time at the 2022 Waste Management Open Pro-Am at TPC Scottsdale in Arizona. “I love playing the sport, especially competitive golf.”

Thielen will get to dust off those competitive chops this weekend at the Hilton Grand Vacations Tournament of Champions. It’s the LPGA Tour’s first tournament of the year and brings together the best of that tour and celebrities and professional athletes.

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Adam Thielen points

Adam Thielen of the Carolina Panthers signals a first down during a game against the Atlanta Falcons at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., Dec 17, 2023.  (David Jensen/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Thielen said it’s his fourth time competing in the event. Brooke Henderson is the defending champion on the LPGA side, but the NFL star says he’s chasing after tennis great Mardy Fish.

“I’m always going after Mardy Fish. He’s the best in the business in the celebrity golf world, and he’s a close friend of mine. So, I try to beat him. Never done it. But it’s always a goal,” he said.

Thielen said he was excited to get out and play competitively again.

With the Koepka compliment and a few celebrity tournaments, Thielen told Fox News Digital he would try to play competitive golf at the “highest level” he could.

“That’s obviously an extreme long shot,” he said when asked about trying to get a PGA Tour card when his NFL career is over. “I try to play in as high a level of tournaments I could play. I don’t know if a PGA card is attainable, but it’s definitely something I would strive for.”

Adam Thielen in 2022

Adam Thielen walks between holes during round one of the ClubCorp Classic at Las Colinas Country Club April 22, 2022, in Irving, Texas. (Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images)

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The tournament at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando, Florida, starts Thursday and runs through Sunday.

Follow Fox News Digital’s sports coverage on X and subscribe to the Fox News Sports Huddle newsletter.



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