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Patriots go swingin' in the rain

Patriots players and coaches take part in the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation's annual golf tournament.

A confident Rosey Colvin said to write it down. So, here's what he said:

"I will win it…I will win the longest-drive competition."

New England's tenacious outside linebacker took part Monday in a popular Patriots tradition – trash-talking on the golf course.

Each June, players and coaches get together (typically the day before mini camp starts) to play 18 holes to help raise money for the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation. This year's event took place at The International in Bolton, Massachusetts, in spite of intermittent downpours caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Barry.

Here's how the tournament works. Each Patriot is teamed up with three other golfers who made a contribution to the Foundation. Before the foursomes hit the links, however, the Pats players get to show off their brute strength.

The wet weather notwithstanding, Colvin, who finished second to safety Rodney Harrison in last year's longest-drive challenge, did his best to create conditions that would insure his finishing on top this year.

"Usually, the guy that's first doesn't play the next year," Colvin explained. "I think [Rodney] is playing [in the tournament], but I convinced him not to take part in the longest-drive."

First up in the competition was backup quarterback Matt Cassel, who's second drive (each player gets two swings) set the bar at 281 yards.

Next was safety Eugene Wilson, who matched Cassel's 281 on his second swing as well.

Then came Colvin.

His first shot was a respectable 261-yard drive. The next one hooked out of the fairway.

But Colvin took it in stride. After all, the top three finishers get to duke it out in a final round. So, for now, Colvin was safe.

The annual golf tournament is nearly as popular a draw with the Patriots as it is with the fans who make donations to play alongside them.

This year's tourney couldn't have come at a more welcome time. Having just returned from New Orleans to see their teammate, Marquise Hill, laid to rest, the Patriots needed this intimate gathering on the golf course to help lift their spirits.

"It's unfortunate that [Marquise] won't be around to experience this with us, but he's with us in spirit," said Colvin.

The venue may change from year to year, but a number of players, including Tedy Bruschi, Matt Light, Ty Warren, and Vince Wilfork, talked about how much fun this day is for them.

"This is the first time I've swung the clubs since last year at the event. I was actually going to go down to the driving range, maybe hit a few, but, why waste the good ones," Light joked. "If I connect on three of the shots and don't whiff, I'll be happy."

Harrison chose to poke fun at his buddy, quarterback Tom Brady, whose first long drive traveled 291 yards, putting him in the lead toward the end of the competition.

"He didn't reach 300 like me last year," Harrison deadpanned. "Brady's been golfing since he was three years old. I started maybe three years ago…but he's a tremendous golfer."

Harrison, however, couldn't keep his straight face for long.

"Better golfer than quarterback," Harrison said, before bursting into laughter.

Brady finally did break 300, though. In the finals of the longest-drive, Brady launched a 307-yard shot that easily won the competition.

Colvin wasn't too dejected, however. In fact, he put the entire day in its proper context.

"Hopefully, we can have fun with it, and Mr. Kraft and the Foundation can raise some money for a good cause."

*Starting Tuesday, the Patriots will conduct a three-day mini camp. The practice sessions are closed to the public, so check back here at for daily updates. And remember to cast your ballot in the Patriots Hall of Fame voting by visiting ***

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