Casali shows off skills in Rays Charity Golf Tournament

Catcher's group wins scramble event; Cash, Odorizzi also participate

Casali shows off skills in Rays Charity Golf Tournament

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- In the days leading up to Wednesday's annual Rays Charity Golf Tournament, Curt Casali received a unanimous mention from teammates as the club's best golfer.

And, like a true favorite, the Rays catcher did not disappoint, as his team won the scramble event. Paired with a group from Advantica, Casali and company finished with a 20-under score of 52.

"I was nervous sitting at the first tee," Casali said. "We kept trucking along. As I kept contributing some good shots, the tension loosened. We all enjoyed ourselves out there."

One of Casali's teammates, Mike Finster, won the longest drive contest, while Casali almost delivered an ace.

"A 145-yard par 3, hit it just past the hole," Casali said. "It was a wedge because it was down wind. I just clipped it. Pin was in front, check, spin to the left, missed it by that much."

He held his hands approximately 4 inches apart.

Casali caught everyone's attention last spring when he made a hole in one. Contestant John Bozer actually made a hole-in-one on Wednesday.

Jake Odorizzi's team, which included players representing the Rays ownership's group -- including Randy Frankel, Saul Sellinger, Art Sellinger, and Tim Mullen -- finished second to Casali's team by one stroke.

When asked how a team shoots 19-under par and loses, Odorizzi smiled: "You lose to 20. That's how it goes."

Odorizzi summed up how it happened: "We got a par on the last hole. Turned out to cost us. Oh, well."

Having fun, but not exactly enamored with golf, was Rays manager Kevin Cash.

"I was really impressed by the event," Cash said. "I stink, though. and I really don't enjoy it. My best shot came on the first swing. It was an easy par 3, and I put it fairly close. But it's just not fun to go out there and get your brains beat in. ... That's why I quit three years ago."

Thursday morning, Casali allowed that it's time to put away the sticks.

"I'm glad we had fun and won the tournament yesterday," he said. "But now it's time for baseball."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.