Even PGA Tour stops for Origin
For the vast majority of the year they are among the most highly paid sportsmen on the planet but three times a year Australia's PGA Tour stars turn into rabid footy fans caught up in the emotion of State of Origin.
Newcastle-born yet Queensland-based golfer Steven Bowditch became a first-time winner on the US PGA Tour in 2014 and on Monday turned back the clock to his days of junior rugby league when he and good friend, three-time PGA Tour winner Boo Weekley, joined Titans players William Zillman and Anthony Don for a cross-code challenge at the Australian PGA Championship on the Gold Coast.
While Don and Zillman showed a little more ability with golf club in hand than Weekley did with his first look at a Steeden, Bowditch revealed that the annual interstate rivalry rears its head among the 15 or so Aussies wherever the PGA Tour has stopped that particular week.
"Origin time in the States, we get up and get all the boys together as much as we can. It starts at about 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning depending on where we are in the States and we get up and get into it, it's great," said Bowditch.
"It varies from five to probably 15. We get a few ring-ins; some of the South Africans and that kind of stuff, it just depends who's around that week as to who wants to come out and watch.
"It's pretty hard to go somewhere [to watch it] so you really need to have a house that week that has the channel on but it's been pretty good the last few years when we've watched it.
"I'm a Blues man so it was nice to finally get one up this year. It's 50/50 (split between Blues and Maroons), there's a good bit of banter going on."
As he conversed with Don about rugby league's unique set of skills, Weekley was enamoured by the ability of NRL players to pass while running at full speed and also the prospect that anyone could actually kick a goal from the sideline.
He was presented a signed Titans jersey to take home with him to Florida but as for any intimate knowledge of how the game is played there is still plenty of work to be done.
"I've watched a little bit with [Bowditch] but I still haven't caught all of what's going on," Weekley admitted. "I'm just learning cricket; we're taking small steps, you know what I'm saying."
Still loyal to his home-town Knights, Bowditch has become a fan of the Dallas Cowboys during his time living in Dallas and said the NFL fan experience goes way beyond simply what happens on the field of battle.
"I haven't been to an NRL game for a couple of years but over there there's a lot more 'show' involved," said the 31-year-old. "It's entertainment there in the States where over here it's all about the sport.
"At an NFL game there's a lot more going on crowd-wise and it's really four hours of entertainment. Whether they're out there playing or not there's always something going on."
As for Weekley's Australian education having spent a month in the country, Bowditch did introduce him to a favourite staple of any rugby league ground across the country, the humble meat pie.
"I'd never tried a meat pie before I got over here and he bought me one and it was a what, a Forty Forty?" Weekley asked.
"Four 'n' Twenty, from the 'servo', first one he got," Bowditch answered.
"And it was pretty good because I ate it before I got to the golf course," added Weekley.