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News / Sports / Clark County Sports

Golf gives Terry Porter competitive thrill playing in Royal Oaks Invitational

Former Blazers star has found his post-basketball life on the golf course

By Micah Rice, Columbian Sports Editor
Published: June 9, 2023, 4:46pm
2 Photos
Portland Trail Blazers legend Terry Porter hits a shot off the 16th tee at the Royal Oaks Invitational on Friday, June 9, 2023 in Vancouver.
Portland Trail Blazers legend Terry Porter hits a shot off the 16th tee at the Royal Oaks Invitational on Friday, June 9, 2023 in Vancouver. (Micah Rice/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Though he has long since retired from the NBA, Terry Porter’s competitive juices still run strong.

Nowadays, the Portland Trail Blazers legend finds his thrills on the fairway instead the hardwood. That led Porter to tee up with many of the Northwest’s top amateur golfers Friday at the Royal Oaks Invitational.

Golf has fascinated Porter since long before he retired from a 17-year NBA playing career in 2002.

Now 60, the two-time NBA All-Star swings it pretty well.

Competing in the senior division, Porter shot 3-over 75 in the first round of the three-day tournament at Royal Oaks Country Club in Vancouver.

Porter said friends have asked him to play in the Royal Oaks Invitational for the past six years. This year’s event was the first time it fit with his schedule.

“Day one was awesome,” Porter said. “I had a few challenges but I really love the golf course. This place has always been a great spot.”

Some professional athletes struggle to find an activity that offers the same competitive thrill they found during their playing days.

Golf has provided that to Porter, who coached 12 years with five NBA franchises before leading the University of Portland from 2016 to 2021.

“Everybody retires from some type of career,” Porter said. “It’s competitive juices that get you going. You’ve got to find something to replace it or at least give you something that you can go to and still feel good about. Golf is definitely my sport.”

Golf has also been a vehicle for Porter to fulfill his commitment to bettering the Portland-area community. A member of the Boys and Girls Club Hall of Fame, Porter has been a frequent guest at charity golf events around the area.

“It’s something most members of the public love to do,” Porter said. “The combination of playing golf but also supporting a particular charity, that’s a win-win. It gives you the opportunity to provide some excitement. But in that case, also support some community nonprofits that need those type of events to raise money and continue to give the services that each community needs.”

While golf can never be perfected, the beauty of the sport is that every player can constantly work to get better year after year.

In chasing that improvement, Porter keeps finding that competitive thrill.

“It has been a challenge, as it should be,” Porter said. “The overall competition and the challenge of trying to get better and improve yourself every year, I love it.”

DAY 1 LEADERBOARD

Patrick Azevedo had the overall lead by one shot with a 4-under 68 after the first round Friday. Jacob O’Neal was alone in second place at 3-under. That was followed by a three-way tie for third at 2-under between Austin Spicer, Matt Hartley and Jarred Gomez.

IF YOU GO

What: Royal Oaks Invitational.

Where: Royal Oaks Country Club, 8917 NE Fourth Plain Blvd. in Vancouver.

When: The 54-hole tournament continues Saturday and Sunday.

Cost: Free to spectators.

Scores and information: roit.org

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