The 68 at the Edgewood-Tahoe Golf Course translated into 27 points under the modified Stableford scoring system, which is being used for the first time at the 54-hole event.
Under the scoring system, eagles are worth six points, birdies three, pars one, bogeys zero and double bogeys cost a player two points.
Two-time defending champion Dan Quinn and former NFL kicker Al Del Greco were second after shooting a 69 for 26 points. Brett Hull was next with 25 points, thanks to an eagle on the par-5 18th hole.
Dick Anderson, John Elway, Jack Wagner, Mark Rypien and Maury Povich were next with 21 points. Elway holed out from 123 yards with a pitching wedge for an eagle on the par-4, 393-yard second hole.
Six other past or present quarterbacks were among the next eight on the leaderboard in the field of 76 - Billy Joe Tolliver (20), Chris Redman (19), Joe Theismann (18), Tommy Maddox (17), Chris Chandler (16) and Steve Beuerlein (16), along with NHL stars Pierre LaRouche and Grant Fuhr, both with 18.
'Quarterbacks are just the best athletes,' said Bartkowski, who had six birdies. 'They are the most well-rounded so they should be able to transfer that to golf. If we had a game of beach volleyball out here, the quarterbacks would win that, too.'
Michael Jordan (five points) and Rush Limbaugh (minus-11) had some of the largest galleries at the tourney, known for being as entertaining as it is competitive.
The worst scores of the day belonged to comedian Dennis Miller (minus-26) and Charles Barkley (minus-25), who played in a group with Emmitt Smith (two points).
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