Wagner holds off late-charging Romo in Lake Tahoe

By Associated PressJuly 17, 2011, 10:28 pm

STATELINE, Nev. – Even actor Jack Wagner’s 91-year-old mother was focused on Tony Romo as her son and the Dallas Cowboys quarterback battled in the final round of the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe.

But Wagner, the only non-professional athlete to have won the tourney in its 22 years, did it again Sunday, holding off the late-charging Romo with a 10-foot birdie putt on the 17th hole and overcoming a shot into the pond guarding the par-5 18th.

“Unbelievable,” said Wagner, who joined Rick Rhoden, Billy Joe Tolliver and Dan Quinn as the only multiple champs to claim the $125,000 winner’s check at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

“My hat’s off to Tony Romo,” he said. “What a great player. I’m just really happy to have played well.”

Wagner, who described himself earlier in the week as a “pipsqueak” actor trying to keep up with the big hitters, said he telephoned his mother before Sunday’s round and all she wanted to talk about was Romo.

“I’m like, `Mom, mom, we’re only concerned about Jack today. We can’t control Tony,’ ” Wagner said.

That didn’t stop his mother from commenting on Romo’s size.

”`If it comes down to a wrestling match, mom, we’re going to lose,’” Wagner said he told her. “So that was really the key for me today. I was kind of focused on what I was doing and I think that helped my nerves.”

Wagner birdied his first two holes and five of the first eight to open up a 10-point lead that appeared to be insurmountable in the modified Stableford scoring format that puts a premium on eagles and birdies.

But he bogeyed three of his next six while Romo drove the green and eagled the 315-yard 11th then birdied the 13th to cut the margin to two.

Both hit inside 15 feet on the par-3 17th, but Romo missed his birdie attempt while Wagner made his.

Romo followed Wagner into the pond on the 18th then made par while Wagner saved bogey to win 80-77.

“I had to be aggressive and have a three there,” Romo said of his second shot from about 165 yards that had to clear a big tree in front of the green and knife through a strong wind off Lake Tahoe.

“It’s the kind of shot you’ve got to hit if you need to make eagle. I hit a good shot. It held its line until about the apex when it started to drift,” he said. “Jack deserves all the credit here. He really went out there and won the golf tournament.

“He put a lot of pressure on me to play a great round of golf. When you make six birdies in the first 11 holes it usually is over by that point.”

Ex-quarterback Chris Chandler, who won in 2007, tied Jeremy Roenick for third at 66. Actor Oliver Hudson was fourth at 62. Rhoden, an eight-time winner, was next with 61. A record 40,156 fans attended the tourney, spokesman Phil Weidinger said.

The Stableford system awards six points for eagle, three for birdie, one for par, none for bogey and minus 2 for double bogey or less.

It also gives eight points for a hole-in-one, but that was the last thing on Joe Sakic’s mind after the former NHL MVP made an ace on the par-3 17th, where a hole-in-one earns $1 million from the tournament sponsor, with half going to Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong Foundation for cancer research.

“That’s a shot you never imagine hitting,” said Sakic, who won two Stanley Cups with the Colorado Avalanche. “I’ve never even been close before. If you’re going to do it, why not here?”

Romo shot a 66 in a regular format while Wagner had a 69.

“Six birdies, no bogeys. That’s a good round of golf for me,” Romo said.

Wagner said a lot of the credit goes to his longtime friend and caddie for the week, PGA Tour pro David Berganio Jr., who hopes to be back from an injury in January.

“I think whenever I’ve folded up here and been close to the lead, it’s because I’ve always thought about what might happen, or the negative thoughts,” he said. “And today I stayed pretty positive. That’s a lot to do with David.”

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Grillo still hunting follow-up to debut win

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:53 pm

Following a round of 1-under 69 Saturday, Emiliano Grillo will enter Sunday's final round at Colonial four shots behind leader Justin Rose.

Grillo is hunting his first win since he took the 2015 Safeway Open in his rookie debut as a PGA Tour member. 

The young Argentinian finished 11th in the FedExCup points race that season, contending in big events and finishing runner-up at the 2016 Barclays.

In the process, Grillo had to learn to pace himself and that it can be fruitless to chase after success week to week.

"That was a hot run in there," Grillo said Saturday, referring to his rookie year. "I played, in 2016, I played the majors very well. I played the big tournaments very well. I was in contention after two, three days in most of the big events.


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"I think, you know, I wanted to do better. I pushed for it. Some of the tournaments I ended up being 50th or 60th just because I wanted to play. I wanted to play well so badly. That played against me, so I learned from that. In that rookie year, I learned that."

Grillo was still plenty successful in his sophomore season, advancing to the BMW Championship last fall.

But now he's beginning to regain some of that form that made him such an immediate success on Tour. Grillo has recorded four top-10 finishes year - a T-9 at Mayakoba, a T-8 at Honda, a T-3 at Houston, and a T-9 at Wells Fargo - and will now look to outduel U.S. Open champs in Rose and Brooks Koepka on Sunday at Colonial.

"Well, he's top 10 in the world, so everything he does he does it pretty well," Grillo said of Rose. "You know, he does his own thing. Like I say, he's top 10 in the world. Nothing wrong with his game. ...

"He's in the lead on a Sunday. Doesn't matter where you're playing, he's got to go out and shoot under par. He's got 50 guys behind him trying to reach him, and I'm one of those. I've just got to go out and do what he did today on those first five or six holes and try to get him in the early holes."

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Koepka looking to make hay on Horrible Horseshoe

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 10:26 pm

The Horrible Horseshoe - Nos. 3, 4 and 5 at Colonial Country Club - annually ranks as one of the toughest three-hole stretches on the PGA Tour.

Consider Brooks Koepka undeterred.

Last year's U.S. Open champ has played the stretch 2 over this week but knows that if he's going to have any chance at catching Justin Rose on Sunday, he's going to need take advantage of the par-5 first and then find a way to pick up shots on the Horseshoe.

"I feel like just need to get off to a good start on this golf course," Koepka said after a third-round 67 Saturday. "If you can get 2 or 3 under through six holes, I think you'll be right there."

Koepka will start the final round four behind Rose, as he looks to win for the first time since his maiden major victory last year.


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The big-hitter missed nearly four months this year with a wrist injury and is progressing quickly in his comeback despite dislocating his wrist on two different occasions over the last two months.

Koepka missed the cut with partner Marc Turnesa at the Zurich Classic in his competitive return before following up with a tie for 42nd at the Wells Fargo Championship and a tie for 11th at The Players Championship.

Now, thanks to a closing birdie Sunday, he finds himself playing alongside Rose in the final group on Sunday.

"I feel like my game is coming around," he said. "[At Zurich], I was five days into touching clubs. I am finally finding a rhythm and feel like I'm getting really close. ...

"Just want to get off to a good start [tomorrow]. That's really all I am trying to do. You put together a good solid round tomorrow, you never know what can happen. The important thing is we were just trying to get in that final group. I thought the putt on 18 was kind of big to get in that final group and play with Rosey."

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Rose leads Koepka, Grillo by four at Colonial

By Nick MentaMay 26, 2018, 9:06 pm

On the strength of a 4-under 66 Saturday, Justin Rose will take a four-shot lead over Brooks Koepka and Emiliano Grillo into the final round of the Fort Worth Invitational. Here's where things stand through 54 holes at Colonial Country Club.

Leaderboard: Rose (-14), Koepka (-10), Grillo (-10), Corey Conners (-8), Jon Rahm (-8), Louis Oosthuizen (-8), J.T. Poston (-8), Ryan Armour (-8)

What it means: The fifth-ranked player in the world is 18 holes from his ninth PGA Tour victory and his second this season. Up one to start the third round, Rose extended his lead to as much as five with birdies on four of his first six holes. Through 54 holes, Rose has made 17 birdies and just three bogeys. The 2013 U.S. Open winner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist has a history of winning at iconic venues - Muirfield Village, Aronimink, Cog Hill, Doral, Merion and Congressional - and now looks to add Colonial to the list. He'll be chased on Sunday by Grillo, the young Argentinian who won his first Tour start as a member in 2015, and Koepka, last year's U.S. Open winner who continues to impress in his injury comeback despite ongoing wrist issues.

Round of the day: Corey Conners and Ted Potter both turned in 7-under 63. Potter was bogey-free and Conners came home in 6-under 29 on the back nine.

Best of the rest: Jon Rahm, Louis Oosthuizen, Brian Harman and Michael Thompson all signed for 64. Rahm called his six-birdie start the best 10 holes he's played so far this year.

Biggest disappointment: Jordan Spieth has finished second-first-second in the last three years at this event, but he's yet to find his normal Colonial form through three rounds. Spieth, who said Friday he was capable of shooting "10 or 12 under" over the weekend, shot even-par 70 Saturday. He sits in T-38 at 3 under for the week, 11 back.

Shot of the day: Rory Sabbatini closed out his third round Saturday with this eagle holeout from 134 yards at the 18th.

His colorful scorecard featured three bogeys, two birdies, a double bogey and that eagle. It added up to a 1-over 71. 

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McCarron closes with only bogey, shares lead

By Associated PressMay 26, 2018, 8:49 pm

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. - Scott McCarron, seeking a second senior major title to go with his 2017 Senior Players Championship, made his only bogey of the third round on the final hole to slip into a tie for the lead Saturday with Tim Petrovic in the Senior PGA Championship.

They were at 13 under par after Petrovic, seeking his first major, shot 65. McCarron has shared the lead through three rounds.

England's Paul Broadhurst, the 2016 British Senior Open winner, matched the best third-round score in tournament history with a 64. He was at 11 under.

Miguel Angel Jimenez, coming off his first major championship last week at the Regions Tradition, shot 65 and was 9 under.

Tom Byrum, who made a hole-in-one in shooting a 67, was in a group at 8 under.