Wagner Birdies Last to win Celebrity Event

By Associated PressJuly 16, 2006, 4:00 pm
2004 American Century ChampionshipSTATELINE, Nev. -- Actor Jack Wagner made a 12-foot birdie putt on the final hole to shoot an even-par 72 and narrowly claim his first victory Sunday in the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe.
 
'I was shaking,' Wagner said about his winning putt with the title on the line against his playing partners, two-time tourney winner Billy Joe Tolliver and four-time winner Dan Quinn.
 
'It was downhill, thank God, so I just had to get it moving. Uphill, I never would have made it.'
 
Wagner -- whose 15-year-old son, Peter, served as his caddie -- finished with 70 points in the modified Stableford scoring system that puts a premium on eagles and birdies. Tolliver, a former NFL quarterback, had 69 points and Dan Quinn, a former hockey player, had 67.
 
Two other former NHL greats, Mario Lemieux and Grant Fuhr, were next with 58 points.
 
'I'm speechless,' said Wagner, who twice was nominated for Emmy Awards for his roles on 'The Bold and the Beautiful' and 'General Hospital.' He became the first nonprofessional athlete to win the tourney in its 17-year history at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
 
'I'm speechless,' he said. 'This is a dream come true. I've worked so hard for this.'
 
Wagner has played in every one of the tournaments at Lake Tahoe since it began in 1990, finishing second in 2003 and third two other times.
 
'I've choked, thrown it away down the stretch several times,' said Wagner, who has won six club championships at Bel Air Country Club in Los Angeles.
 
The scoring system awards six points for eagle, three points for birdie, one point for par, none for bogey and minus two for double bogey or worse.
 
Tolliver, who led the first two rounds, was five points ahead of Quinn and eight ahead of Wagner when he birdied the par-4 sixth. But Tolliver bogeyed the next four holes in a row while Wagner posted a pair of birdies in that stretch.
 
Wagner caught Tolliver with a birdie on the par-4 14th then took the lead for good when he parred No. 15 while Tolliver bogeyed.
 
Down the stretch with a one-point lead, Wagner hit a 9-iron within 12 feet on the 169-yard, par-3 17th but Tolliver followed with a 9-iron to about 8 feet and both missed their birdie putts, as did Quinn.
 
Trailing by three points headed to the par-5 18th, Quinn had a chance to win when he hit his second shot to within 20 feet of the hole but missed an eagle attempt and had to settle for birdie.
 
Wagner drove right in the rough behind some towering Ponderosa pines on the last hole and had to punch out to about 90 yards from the green. But he hit to about 12 feet from the pin and slowly rolled the putt home.
 
Tolliver had pulled his approach short right of the green but chipped within 2 feet of the hole and made his birdie after Wagner had clinched the win.
 
The tourney featured some unusual sights for a golf course. Former Bears quarterback Jim McMahon played barefoot and comedian Anthony Anderson wore a Scottish kilt on Sunday.
 
Anderson was paired with Cheech Marin and Kevin Nealon, who hit left into the gallery on the par-3 17th that borders Lake Tahoe on the right side of the fairway where dozens of boats were anchored.
 
'Throw it on the green when it hits you!' Anderson yelled to the crowd.
 
'I was so afraid of hitting those boats,' Nealon explained.
 
Related Links:
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    Day's wife shares emotional story of miscarriage

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 4:12 pm

    Jason Day’s wife revealed on social media that the couple had a miscarriage last month.

    Ellie Day, who announced her pregnancy on Nov. 4, posted an emotional note on Instagram that she lost the baby on Thanksgiving.

    “I found out the baby had no heartbeat anymore. I was devastated,” she wrote. “I snuck out the back door of my doctor, a hot, sobbing, mascara-covered mess. Two and a half weeks went by witih me battling my heart and brain about what was happening in my body, wondering why this wouldn’t just be over.”

    The Days, who have two children, Dash and Lucy, decided to go public to help others who have suffered similar heartbreak.

    “I hope you know you aren’t alone and I hope you feel God wrap his arms around you when you feel the depths of sorrow and loss,” she wrote.  

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 5, Sergio Garcia

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 1:00 pm

    This was the year it finally happened for Sergio Garcia.

    The one-time teen phenom, known for years as “El Nino,” entered the Masters as he had dozens of majors beforehand – shouldered with the burden of being the best player without a major.

    Garcia was 0-for-72 driving down Magnolia Lane in April, but after a thrilling final round and sudden-death victory over Justin Rose, the Spaniard at long last captured his elusive first major title.

    The expectation for years was that Garcia might land his white whale on a British links course, or perhaps at a U.S. Open where his elite ball-striking might shine. Instead it was on the storied back nine at Augusta National that he came alive, chasing down Rose thanks in part to a memorable approach on No. 15 that hit the pin and led to an eagle.


    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


    A green jacket was only the start of a transformative year for Garcia, 37, who heaped credit for his win on his then-fiancee, Angela Akins. The two were married in July, and months later the couple announced that they were expecting their first child to arrive just ahead of Garcia’s return to Augusta, where he'll host his first champions’ dinner.

    And while players often cling to the notion that a major win won’t intrinsically change them, there was a noticeable difference in Garcia over the summer months. The weight of expectation, conscious or otherwise, seemed to lift almost instantly. Like other recent Masters champs, he took the green jacket on a worldwide tour, with stops at Wimbledon and a soccer match between Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    The player who burst onto the scene as a baby-faced upstart is now a grizzled veteran with nearly two decades of pro golf behind him. While the changes this year occurred both on and off the course, 2017 will always be remembered as the year when Garcia finally, improbably, earned the title of major champion.


    Masters victory


    Article: Garcia defeats Rose to win Masters playoff

    Article: Finally at peace: Garcia makes major breakthrough

    Article: Garcia redeems career, creates new narrative


    Video: See the putt that made Sergio a major champ


    Green jacket tour

    Article: Take a look at Sergio's crazy, hectic media tour

    Article: Garcia with fiancée, green jacket at Wimbledon

    Article: Watch: Garcia kicks off El Clasico in green jacket


    Man of the people


    Article: SERGIO! Garcia finally gets patrons on his side

    Article: Fan finally caddies for Sergio after asking 206 times

    Article: Sergio donates money for Texas flood relief


    Article: Connelly, Garcia paired years after photo together


    Ace at 17th at Sawgrass


    Growing family

    Article: Sergio, Angela get married; Kenny G plays reception

    Article: Garcia, wife expecting first child in March 2018


    Departure from TaylorMade


    Article: Masters champ Garcia splits with TaylorMade


    Squashed beef with Paddy

    Article: Harrington: Garcia was a 'sore loser'

    Article: Sergio, Padraig had 'great talk,' are 'fine'


    Victory at Valderrama


    Article: Garcia gets first win since Masters at Valderrama

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    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 12, 2017, 12:30 pm
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    Montana parents can't watch kids play high school golf

    By Grill Room TeamDecember 11, 2017, 9:47 pm

    Well, this is a one new one.

    According to a report from KTVQ in Montana, this line in the Montana State High School Association rule book all but forbids spectators from observing high school golf in that state:

    “No spectators/fans are allowed on the course except for certain locations as designated by the tournament manager and club professional.”

    Part of the issue, according to the report, is that most courses don't bother to designate those "certain locations" leaving parents unable to watch their kids compete.

    “If you tell a parent that they can’t watch their kid play in the Thanksgiving Day football game, they would riot,” Chris Kelley, a high school golf parent, told KTVQ.

    The report lists illegal outside coaching as one of the rule's chief motivations, but Montana State women's golf coach Brittany Basye doesn't quite buy that.

    “I can go to a softball game and I can sit right behind the pitcher. I can make hand signals,” she is quoted in the report. “I can yell out names. I can do the same thing on a softball field that might affect that kid. Football games we can yell as loud as we want when someone is making a pass or a catch.”

    The MHSA has argued that unlike other sports that are played in a confined area, the sprawling nature of a golf course would make it difficult to hire enough marshals to keep unruly spectators in check.

    Meanwhile, there's a lawyer quoted in the report claiming this is some kind of civil rights issue.

    Worth note, Montana is one of only two states that doesn't allow spectators on the course. The other state, Alaska, does not offer high school golf.