MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A former Minnesota Viking and Golden Gopher keeps tabs on his teams, but this fall he’s a got a sports job keeping him busy.
Faribault High School graduate Mark Dusbabek is about to take part in his favorite week, but it’s just going to happen later than years past.
Dusbabek came to the Vikings from the Houston Oilers. He remembers it well.
“Right away the first day, I signed, I went in to workout, didn’t know anybody,” Dusbabek said. “Scott Studwell met me in the weight room and told me to come up every day at 7:30 in the morning … He kind of took me under his wing and showed me a lot.”
He played next to a NFL Hall of Famer Chris Doleman, who lost a battle with cancer earlier this year.
“I got a chance to see Chris probably around four or five years ago in Atlanta when I was doing the tour championship, and he came over to the Golf Channel booth and we sat and chatted for a while and reminisced,” Dusbabek said. “You know, I miss him. He was a great player.”
He mentions golf because that’s become his second sports vocation. Dusbabek is a rules judge on the PGA Tour. Like football, they keep playing without fans.
“It’s so much easier for me from a refereeing standpoint. I don’t have to worry about so many rulings because there’s no structures built for the corporate hospitality,” Dusbabek said. “Balls are going into places that normally you might get relived for [due to] spectator damage.”
It did get a little difficult at the PGA Championship when he ended up with ample air time because of a ruling involving Rory McIlroy.
“It was fun to work at. Rory couldn’t be more a professional guy,” Dusbabek said. “And when I had the ruling with him, you know, I asked him, ‘Are you comfortable with this?’ He turned to me and said, ‘No, I’m really not comfortable with it.’ But that just shows a lot about his character, and a lot of character of the other professionals in the PGA Tour.”
And soon he will work again. His 14th time at The Masters has been delayed, but it always is the most special.
“They do an excellent job there. They’re so precise in all their levels of putting on a golf tournament,” he said. “Hey, I’m just a guest, and my first couple years there felt really awkward, and I felt like I was always being watched [laughs], and maybe I was, I don’t know. But I feel very comfortable there now.”
The Masters will air on WCCO next weekend.