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.
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Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
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Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

12/1: Dustin Johnson

16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

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Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.

Updated Official World Golf Ranking

There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

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Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

“I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

“I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

“I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”