Barkley Romo headline Celebrity field

By Associated PressJuly 17, 2009, 4:00 pm
STATELINE, Nev. ' Although golfs top players were in Scotland there was some celebrity power at Lake Tahoe on Friday, where Tony Romo was among those vying for the lead and Charles Barkley was testing out his new swing with varying success.
 
The Dallas Cowboys quarterback and the NBA Hall-of-Famer-turne-television-analyst were among 89 past and present sports stars, actors and politicians competing for the $600,000 purse in the first round of the 20th annual American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Edgewood-Tahoe Golf Course.
 
Barkley, the long shot in the field who was paired with actor Ray Romano, spent several months earlier this year trying to revamp his swing during a Golf Channel series with Tiger Woods swing coach, Hank Haney.
 
Ray, are you doing the Haney Project next year? Barkley asked Romano. Hanks a yeller and a screamer.
 
Sos my wife, Romano shot back before plugging his latest animated movie with the gallery on the first tee. Why arent you people at Ice Age?''
 
The field included Wayne Gretzky, introduced as the greatest hockey player of all time; Jerry Rice, the greatest wide receiver in NFL history; and ultimate fighter Chuck Liddell, the toughest man in the field.
 
Michael Jordan, a tourney regular who has tired of the lengthy mention of his accomplishments during the introductions over the years, requested he be introduced only as playing out of Chicago, Ill.
 
Fridays round featured some of sports fans all-time dream pairings:
 
  • Romo with NFL Hall of Fame quarterbacks John Elway and Dan Marino
     
  • Jordan with NBA greats Ray Allen and Penny Hardaway
     
  • Gretzky with former NHL All-Stars Pierre Larouche and Grant Fuhr
     
  • Running backs Emmitt Smith, Marcus Allen and Marshall Faulk, who had a hole-in-one on the 169-yard, par-3 17th that borders the lake.
     
    Before Barkley teed off, the mayor of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., thanked him for contributing $190,000 the past two years to a fund for victims of a wildfire that burned more than 250 homes at Lake Tahoe in 2007. He also presented him with a blown-up copy of a $5 betting ticket with Barkleys 750-1 odds ' which actually dropped to 499-1 by the time play began.
     
    Ive heard you may want to get into politics, Jerry Birdwell said about the most popular golfer on the course. I hope you dont decide to run for mayor of South Lake Tahoe because Id be out of a job.
     
    Barkleys stop-and-go swing showed some improvement, hitting his first drive more than 225 yards down the right side of the fairway. But he let a few expletives go and slammed his bag with his club when he chipped into a greenside bunker on the par-3 5th and couldnt get out in three shots.
     
    Nevertheless, he and Romano entertained the biggest gallery on the mountain course that winds through tall pines along the azure lake atop the Sierra.
     
    All that weightlifting aint paying off for me, Ray, Barkley said before his 60-foot putt for par came up an inch short on the par-3 7th.
     
    Its an easy game, he deadpanned after the tap-in bogey, his best score of the day at that point.
     
    Romanos par on the same hole cost him $20 when he told a boy on the tee hed give him that much if his tee shot landed on the green, and it did.
     
    Youre probably going to follow me around now, he told the boy after producing the money.
  • Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

    Getty Images

    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

     

     

    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

    Getty Images

    Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

    The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

    The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

    Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

    A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

    Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.