Hawk Taking Wrist For Test Drive

A.J. Hawk, who is recovering from offseason wrist surgery, talks about competing in next month's American Century Championship golf tournament and long-drive contest during a conference call on Tuesday.

A.J. Hawk will put his surgically repaired wrist to the test at the American Century Championship, a celebrity golf tournament set for next month at Lake Tahoe in Stateline, Nev.

"I've been on the range once, a couple days ago," Hawk said in a conference call promoting the event on Tuesday. "I just got my last little piece of hardware taken out of my wrist two weeks ago, so this is my first time giving it a chance to swing. I feel pretty good swinging. I can't swing as hard as I'd like. It's my right wrist, so it's hard to snap through, I guess. It's not like I was out there shooting 65 last year, so hopefully I'll still improve on my score last year in Tahoe. But it's doing good. It's going to be ready for training camp to play football and it's going to be ready for the American Century Championship, as well."

The event will be held July 12 through July 17, with the three days of competitive golf to begin on Friday, July 15. Hawk is one of a few players with Packers ties scheduled to compete, joining kicker Mason Crosby and quarterback Aaron Rodgers, as well as former Packers Sterling Sharpe and Jim McMahon.

The long-drive competition also will be contested on July 15. Hawk, who said he didn't get into golf until at Ohio State, won the long-drive event in his American Century debut in 2009 with a blast of 332 yards.

"I think right off the bat, just being an athlete, I always tried to swing hard and wanted to drive the ball far," Hawk said. "Any athlete wants to do that. You've got to do something well. I figure I've got to bring something to the table out in Tahoe so I might as well swing hard and try to hit the ball far, because I'm not making any putts or chipping any in. You've got to have something that you do all right."

Asked about the Packers' lack of player-organized workouts, Hawk downplayed their need because most of the roster and coaching staff is coming back intact, there will be no new schemes to learn and the rookies won't be expected to make a significant impact.

Hawk also was asked about the scandal that has gripped his alma mater's football program and cost coach Jim Tressel his job.

"I've chosen to defend Coach Tressel," Hawk said. "It's kind of a shame. He knows he made a mistake with not reporting everything he knew, but it's a shame that such a great guy and a great person has to go out that way. I've seen him a couple times since he resigned and he's handling it really well. He's always really classy."

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.

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