Rice withdraws from Nationwide event

NFL legend Jerry Rice will make his professional golf debut this weekend at the Nationwide Tour's Fresh Express Classic.

GREENVILLE, S.C. — Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice has withdrawn from the Nationwide Tour's BMW Charity Pro-Am because of a scheduling conflict.

Tournament officials announced Rice's decision Thursday.

Rice competed at the BMW Charity Pro-Am as a professional last year and planned to do so again at this month's event. In 2010, Rice shot a 92-82 in the 2010 event, but was disqualified for rules violations after his caddie used a range-finding scope to check yardages.

Organizers say hockey great Wayne Gretzky and his wife, Janet Jones, have joined the lineup of celebrities for the tournament, which runs from May 19-22. The tournament is played on three courses, The Carolina Country Club and Thornblade Club in South Carolina and Bright's Creek Golf Club in North Carolina.

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