Webber Tops Barkley Tolliver Celeb Champion


STATELINE, Nev. -- Former NFL quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver overcame a bogey on the last hole to win the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe on Sunday.
Tolliver, the 1996 champion who squandered a final-round lead last year, closed with a 1-over 73 for 76 points in the modified Stableford scoring system. He was four points better than Cleveland Browns quarterback Trent Dilfer.
Former pitcher Rick Rhoden, playing in the same group as Tolliver, missed a 25-foot eagle putt on the last hole and finished with 71 points. Chris Chandler was fourth with 69 points in the scoring system that awards six points for eagle, three for birdie, one for par, zero for bogey and minus two for double bogey.
It was the first time in five years that someone other than Rhoden or former NHL star Dan Quinn won the 16-year-old tourney at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. Quinn, who won three of the last four, finished sixth on Sunday.
Tolliver seemingly had the title wrapped up heading to the final hole, but hit his drive wide right into a waste area. He then onto the beach bordering the lake on the par-5 18th. After taking a drop, he chipped off a cart part and made a 5-foot putt for bogey.
``I was lucky to get out of this alive today,'' Tolliver said. ``I'm a little bit devoid of talent so, naturally, I blocked it left onto the beach, where I always spend Sundays here. I've probably thrown away $300,000 to $400,000 on that beach. They ought to call it Joe's Beach.''
Tolliver said Rhoden would have won easily if a few putts dropped.
``Rick was probably a total of 3 inches from being 8 or 9 under. I just got lucky that the putter wasn't hot for him today,'' Tolliver said.
Tolliver had three bogeys and three birdies on the front nine, including a 14-foot, downhill birdie putt on the 439-yard, par-4 ninth that put him five points ahead of Rhoden and Dilfer.
But he got into trouble on the par-5 16th when he drove into the left rough then hit his approach into a greenside bunker. He blasted out of the sand to 3 feet, but missed the birdie putt, setting up the dramatic finish.
Charles Barkley finished next-to-last in the 81-player field minus-84 points. As a result, to pay off a wager with Chris Webber, Barkley will have to pay $50,000 to a charity of Webber's choice.
``I feel like Tiger Woods today,'' said Webber, who finished at minus-76.
Others in the field included John Elway (22nd), Dan Quayle (32nd), Michael Jordan (36th), Donald Trump (42nd) and Don Cheadle and Kevin Nealon (tied for 75th). Actor Brad Garrett finished last at minus-87.
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