Rhoden Wins Celebrity Event Barkley Last
Rhoden dropped a 6-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th to shoot a 2-under-par 70 and total 68 points in the modified Stableford scoring system, one ahead of Quinn and four ahead of Tony Romo and Grant Fuhr at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
Quinn, a former hockey player, had birdied the 16th and 17th and made an impressive recovery shot from the beach over the trees to the 18th but had to settle for par, opening the door for Rhodens victory.
The former all-star pitcher had three birdies and one bogey to claim his first victory here since 2003.
Its been a while since I won. I didnt know if I was ever going to win again because were getting some really good players out here, said Rhoden, who drove the ball into the rough on No. 18 but hit a good second shot that set up his approach to 6 feet.
Dans a great player. You know hes going to be there at the end, he said. I had a chance. That is all I wanted. I finally made a putt I needed.
Quinn, whose 4-under-par 68 tied the best round of the day along with Fuhr, had one thought as his rival was over his final putt.
Miss it, he said. It is what it is. I got beat not today but on Friday when I shot a 76.
The scoring system awards six points for eagle, three for birdie, one for par, none for bogey and minus-2 for double bogey or worse.
Romo, the Dallas Cowboys quarterback making his debut in the tournament, came up a bit short on a 40-foot eagle putt on the last hole Sunday to shoot an even-par 72.
Actor Jack Wagner and ex-NHL all-stars Brett Hull and Pierre Larouche were next with 62 points, followed by former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien, who won the first event at Tahoe in 1990 and finished with 60 points.
Rhoden started to hit his drive on the par-5 16th but backed off when a boat horn sounded on the lake behind the green. His drive ended up a duck hook into the trees and he ended up with a par on a hole the rest of the front-runners birdied. But he came back with a 15-foot birdie putt and a fist pump on the par-3 17th to set up the dramatic finish and claim the $125,000 winners check.
Rhoden, a two-time all-star, played for the Los Angeles Dodgers National League championship teams in 1977 and 1978 and later played for the Pirates, Yankees and Astros.
He and Quinn have dominated play in the celebrity tourney. During a 14-year stretch from 1992-2004, the pair combined to win 10 of the titles.
Charles Barkley, with his unusual stutter-step swing, finished last with minus 81 points.
It is a very unorthodox swing, said LPGA great Annika Sorenstam, who has a home at Lake Tahoe and helped serve as an analyst for NBC Sports telecast of the event. I try to not look at it too much to be honest. I dont think its a good image to have.
Some of the biggest galleries on the course followed the worst golfers, like Barkley and Kevin Nealon, the former Saturday Night Live star now on Showtimes Weeds who had minus-49 points.
About 50 people followed him in Team Nealon T-shirts. The slogan on the back of the shirts has changed over the years, including: Altitude with an attitude, Shooting for the middle of the pack, and It could happen
This year it was Were due
Larry Drynal of Reno was wearing one for the first time this weekend, calling it his inaugural season on the team.
All you have to do to get a shirt, he said, is to agree to follow him around and root for him.
Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.
The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.
Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.
Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.
Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.
Rahm (62) fires career low round
The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:
Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)
What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.
Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.
Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.
Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.
Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.
Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.
Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm
Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder
Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.
Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.
"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."
Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.
Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.
"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."
Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn
There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.
Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.
Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.
Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.
The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.