John Smoltz set for Nationwide debut

Former Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz, a prolific (and scratch) golfer during his baseball playing days, will be teeing it up in the Nationwide Tour's South Georgia Classic on a sponsor's exemption.

The tournament will be April 28-May 1 at Kinderlou Forest Golf Club in Valdosta, Ga.

"I'm not afraid to fail but failure is right there," Smoltz, a 22-year Major League Baseball veteran, said in a statement. "I know it's not easy. I just want to see what it's like. I want to know what my body feels like. I want to know if that tension creeps up."

Smoltz previously has tried to qualify for the U.S. Open, but has been unsuccessful.

Earlier this week, Pro Football Hall of Fame member Jerry Rice announced he will compete again in the Fresh Express Classic at TPC Stonebrae, a Nationwide Tour event to be held April 14-17 in the San Francisco area.

In 2010, Rice also played as a pro and shot 83-76, missing the cut by 19 shots. He was 151st out of 152 golfers at the tournament, which he hosts.

Later in 2010, Rice was disqualified from the BMW Charity Pro-Am when his caddie unknowingly used a range finder to check yardages. Using such devices is a violation of golf rules.