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.
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    Phil rubs fan's Donald Duck hat seven times, signs it

    By Nick MentaJune 18, 2018, 3:09 pm

    There is a case to be made that what Phil Mickelson did on Saturday made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    There is also a case to be made that the USGA's setup of Shinnecock Hills made a mockery of a major championship and was worthy of derision.

    Whatever you think about what Mickelson did on Saturday - and how he attempted to justify it after the fact without even a hint of remorse - watch this video.

    The next time you hear someone say, "If anybody else had putted a moving ball on purpose and not apologized for it, it would get a different reaction," you can point to this video and say, "Yeah, here's why."

    Here's what happened once a still-strident Mickelson was done rubbing Donald Duck hats on Sunday, per Ryan Lavner:

    If you’re wondering whether Mickelson would be defiant or contrite on Sunday, we don’t know the answer. He declined to stop and speak with the media, deciding instead to sign autographs for more than a half hour and then offering a few short answers before ducking into player hospitality.

    “The real question is, ‘What am I going to do next?’” he said. “I don’t know.”

    The 2024 Ryder Cup at Bethpage is going to be a three-ring circus, and Mickelson, a likely choice to captain the U.S. team, will be the ringmaster.

    Separately, shoutout to 2017 Latin Am champ Toto Gana, who does a terrific Donald Duck (skip to end).

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    Ryder Cup race: Mickelson out, Simpson in

    By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:34 pm

    There's a new man at the top of the U.S. Ryder Cup race following the U.S. Open, and there's also a familiar name now on the outside looking in.

    Brooks Koepka's successful title defense vaulted him to the top of the American points race, up four spots and ensuring he'll be on the team Jim Furyk takes to Paris in September. Dustin Johnson's third-place finish moved him past Patrick Reed at No. 2, while Webb Simpson entered the top eight after a a tie for 10th.

    While Bryson DeChambeau remained at No. 9, Phil Mickelson dropped two spots to No. 10. Tony Finau, who finished alone in fifth, went from 16th to 13th, while Tiger Woods fell two spots to No. 37.

    Here's a look at the latest U.S. standings, with the top eight after the PGA Championship qualifying automatically:

    1. Brooks Koepka

    2. Dustin Johnson

    3. Patrick Reed

    4. Justin Thomas

    5. Jordan Spieth

    6. Rickie Fowler

    7. Bubba Watson

    8. Webb Simpson


    9. Bryson DeChambeau

    10. Phil Mickelson

    11. Matt Kuchar

    12. Brian Harman

    On the European side, England's Tommy Fleetwood took a big stride toward securing his first Ryder Cup appearance with a runner-up finish that included a Sunday 63 while countryman Matthew Fitzpatrick snuck into a qualifying spot after tying for 12th.

    Here's a look at the updated Euro standings, with the top four from both points lists joining four picks from captain Thomas Bjorn at Le Golf National:

    European Points

    1. Tyrrell Hatton

    2. Justin Rose

    3. Tommy Fleetwood

    4. Francesco Molinari


    5. Thorbjorn Olesen

    6. Ross Fisher

    World Points

    1. Jon Rahm

    2. Rory McIlroy

    3. Alex Noren

    4. Matthew Fitzpatrick


    5. Ian Poulter

    6. Rafael Cabrera-Bello

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    Koepka autographs local kids' 'Go Brooks' sign after win

    By Grill Room TeamJune 18, 2018, 2:30 pm

    Brooks Koepka is a two-time U.S. Open winner, but that doesn't mean he's now too big to go sign a couple pieces of cardboard in somebody's front yard in the middle of the night.

    Koepka's girlfriend, Jena Sims, posted two pictures to her Instagram story on Sunday of "Go Brooks" signs she says were put up by some local kids in the area where Koepka was staying for the week.

    The first is dated prior to Koepka's final-round tee time.

    The second is from Sunday night.

    And here, separately, for no reason in particular (other than the fact that she posted it) is a video of Sims running over a parking cone at last year's U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

    Speaking of kids, just feels those two are gonna make it.

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    Koepka moves to No. 4 in world with U.S. Open win

    By Will GrayJune 18, 2018, 2:05 pm

    After successfully defending his U.S. Open title, Brooks Koepka reached a new career high in the Official World Golf Ranking.

    Koepka held off Tommy Fleetwood to win by a shot Sunday at Shinnecock Hills, becoming the first player to go back-to-back in nearly 30 years. As a result, he jumped five spots in the latest rankings to No. 4, six spots higher than he reached with last year's U.S. Open victory at Erin Hills.

    Fleetwood finished alone in second place and moved up two spots to No. 10, tying his career-best placement. Patrick Reed moved up two spots to No. 11 by finishing fourth, while fifth-place Tony Finau went from No. 37 to No. 31.

    Updated Official World Golf Ranking

    It was a largely quiet week in the rankings despite the fact that a major championship was contested. Outside of Koepka and Finau, the only other player inside the top 50 to move up or down more than three spots was Jason Dufner, who went from 53rd to 48th with a T-25 finish.

    Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1 for the second consecutive week, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Koepka and Jordan Spieth. Jon Rahm dropped one spot to No. 6, with Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Jason Day and Fleetwood rounding out the top 10. Hideki Matsuyama fell two spots to No. 12, dropping out of the top 10 for the first time since October 2016.

    Despite a missed cut at Shinnecock, Tiger Woods actually moved up one spot to No. 79 in the latest rankings. He plans to play the Quicken Loans National and The Open in the coming weeks, which will be his final two chances to move into the top 50 in time to qualify for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. The event is being held for the final time this summer at Firestone Country Club, where Woods has won eight times.