Wild 1st Day at Celebrity Golf Championship

By Associated PressJuly 13, 2007, 4:00 pm
STATELINE, Nev. -- Billy Joe Tolliver followed consecutive bogeys with a 25-foot eagle putt on the 18th hole to take the first-round lead at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe on Friday.
 
The former NFL quarterback, a two-time winner of this event, had three birdies and three bogeys to go with the eagle in accumulating 25 points in the modified Stableford system that puts a premium on birdies and eagles.
 
'I mean, I'm not Tiger Woods or anything. I know I'm going to have three or four bogeys a day,' said Tolliver, who shot a 2-under 70 in the opening round of the 54-hole tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
 
Sterling Sharpe, a five-time Pro Bowl wide receiver when he played for the Green Bay Packers, had 24 points, tied for second with Hockey Hall of Famer Grant Fuhr.
 
Another point back was a trio of past and present quarterbacks -- Chris Chandler, Trent Dilfer and Tommy Maddox.
 
Former major league pitcher Rick Rhoden, who has won the tourney a record six times, was tied with former quarterback Mark Rypien with 22 points. Defending champion Jack Wagner had 18 and four-time tournament winner Dan Quinn had 17.
 
An eagle is worth six points, a birdie three, a par one, a bogey zero and a double bogey or worse minus 2.
 
Rhoden, Wagner and Quinn have won five of the last six celebrity titles.
 
'On Sunday, they'll be there,' Sharpe said. 'It's like death and taxes. Rick is going to be there. Jack is going to be there. Dan's going to be there.'
 
Fuhr had the best round of the day -- a 3-under 69 -- but didn't have an eagle.
 
'It's fun to be in contention. Obviously this would be a lot more fun if it was Sunday,' the former goaltender said.
 
The field of 78 includes a variety of sports stars, entertainers and other celebrities.
 
Ray Romano, playing with former 'Saturday Night Live' star Kevin Nealon, enjoyed a lucky break when his shot wide right of the par-4 9th hit a Ponderosa pine in front of a greenside bunker and kicked directly in front of the green.
 
'My bad luck was drawing Nealon,' Romano said.
 
Nealon, who was next-to-last at minus 27 points, hit three consecutive shots back and forth across that same green into sand traps. He started by digging into the sand, approaching the ball and yelling, 'Fore!' before he swung.
 
The shot bounced off the grandstand and into the trap on the other side, where he again yelled, 'Fore,' before repeating the miscue back to the original bunker.
 
Nealon, who said before the tourney his goal was to finish in the middle of the pack, was followed by a group of friends and family members who wore bright orange T-shirts that read, 'Team Nealon' on the front and 'It could happen ...' on the back.
 
NBA forward Chris Webber, who in past years has made a wager for charity with Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley about who would finish worse, pulled out of this year's event.
 
'Probably scared,' said Barkley, who was last at minus 30.
 
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 1, Justin Thomas

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 1:00 pm

He won a major, captured the FedExCup and was named the PGA Tour’s Player of the Year. It should come as no surprise that Justin Thomas holds the top spot on our Newsmakers list for 2017.

Thomas entered the year ranked outside the top 20, and few might have pegged him for a transcendent campaign. But he kicked off January with a win in Hawaii, added another before leaving the Aloha State and never looked back.

Thomas’ seminal moment came in August when he captured the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow for his breakthrough major title. One month after greeting Jordan Spieth behind the final green at Royal Birkdale, this time it was Thomas’ turn to have friends stick around to snap pictures with the trophy that signaled his arrival among golf’s upper echelon.


Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year


In addition to racking up the hardware – five in total, including the inaugural CJ Cup at Nine Bridges in his first start of the new wraparound season – Thomas dazzled with style. His runaway win at the Sony Open included an opening-round 59, and his third-round 63 at Erin Hills marked the first time anyone had ever shot 9 under on a U.S. Open venue.

Thomas’ consistency was rewarded at East Lake, when a runner-up finish at the Tour Championship netted him the season-long title and $10 million prize. It was in the subsequent press conference where he shared the goals list he had written into his cell phone in February, having ticked off nearly every one. It showed a dedicated attention to detail as well the tactical approach with which Thomas had steered his rapid ascent.

Heading into a new year, he’s now very clearly entrenched as one of the world’s best. And as his career progresses, it’s likely we’ll look back at 2017 as the point where Thomas first transformed great potential into eye-popping results.

Win No. 1: Title defense at the CIMB Classic

Article: Thomas (64) rallies to defend CIMB title


Win Nos. 2 and 3: The Hawaiian double

Article: Thomas refuses to let disastrous hole derail TOC win

Article: Worst week ever ends with another title at Sony Open


Record Round No. 1: 59 at the Sony Open

Article: Thomas becomes youngest player to shoot 59

Take a look: Thomas’ scorecard from his amazing 59


Record Round No. 2: 63 at the U.S. Open

Article: Thomas sets U.S. Open record with 9-under 63


Temporary Slide: Open MC makes it three in a row

Watch: Thomas loses club, makes 9, misses Open cut


Mr. Major (and win No. 4): PGA champ at Quail Hollow

Article: Thomas joins the club – the major club


Win No. 5: Dell Technologies Championship

Article: Thomas wins the battle of buddies over Spieth


The $10 Million Man: FedExCup champ


Biggest Win of All? Player of the Year


And One to Grow On: Wins at CJ Cup in 2017-18 season

Article: Thomas caps torrid 12-month run with CJ Cup win


Photo Galleries: Best of ...

Best of: Justin Thomas and Jillian Wisniewski

Best of: Justin Thomas through the years

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 18, 2017, 12:30 pm

Cabreras win PNC Father/Son Challenge

By Associated PressDecember 17, 2017, 11:36 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with a 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory in their debut at the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The Cabreras opened with a 59 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club and were challenged briefly by the defending champions, David Duval and Nick Karavites, in the scramble format Sunday. The Argentines went out in 30, and they had a two-shot lead with Cabrera's son came within an inch of chipping in for eagle on the final hole.

They finished at 25-under 199 for a three-shot victory over Duval and Karavites, and Bernhard Langer and Jason Langer. The Langer team won in 2014.

Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara tied for fourth at 21 under with Jerry Pate and Wesley Pate.

Cabrera wasn't even in the field until two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange and his son, Tom Strange, had to withdraw.

Duval and his stepson went out in 28, but the Cabreras regained control by starting the back nine with back-to-back birdies, and then making birdies on the 13th, 14th and 16th. The final birdie allowed them to tie the tournament scoring record.

''This is certain my best week of the year,'' said Cabrera, the 2009 Masters champion and 2007 U.S. Open champion at Oakmont. ''To play alongside all the legends ... as well as playing alongside my son, has been the greatest week of the year.''

The popular event is for players who have won a major championship or The Players Championship. It is a scramble format both days.

In some cases, the major champions lean on the power of their sons for the distance. O'Meara said Saturday that his ''little man'' hit it 58 yards by him on the 18th. And on Sunday, Stewart Cink said son Reagan told him after outdriving him on the opening four holes, ''In this tournament I may be your son, but right now I'm your Daddy!''

Jack Nicklaus played with his grandson, G.T. They closed with a 64 and tied for 15th in the field of 20 teams.

Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.