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:
  • Full Coverage - American Century Celebrity Golf Championship
  • Getty Images

    Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

    Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

    While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

    “I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

    Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

    <
    Getty Images

    DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

    Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

    “I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

    Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

    “Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

    Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

    “It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

    Getty Images

    Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

    What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

    Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    “I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

    McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

    He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.


    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship


    McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

    Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

    “DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

    Getty Images

    Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

    Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

    Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

    Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

    Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

    Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.