SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nevada – Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo rallied from four points to win his first Century American Championship on Sunday at Lake Tahoe.
Romo, who retired after the 2016 NFL season and now an NFL analyst, had 27 points on the day to beat three-time defending champion Mark Mulder and San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski, the leader after the first two rounds.
"It's a special victory," said Romo, who finished the second time three times in seven trips prior to the annual celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. "It feels like you're playing a tournament at home here." The day felt good for many reasons.
Romo took advantage of the pair, was worth a point, on the 18th hole to finish with 71 points, three ahead of Mulder, the former Major League pitcher. He then took a flight to Berlin, Wisconsin, where he would compete on Monday in a 36-hole amateur qualifying tournament.
The American Century Championship uses a modified Stableford scoring system that awards points for eagles (six), birdies (three) and pars (one) and deducts points (two) for double bogeys or worse. The Bogeys are worth zero points.
Pavelski had a 7-foot eagle putt on par-5 18 that could have tied Romo, but it escaped him. He finished with 66 points, tying for third place with Ray Allen, who will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on September 7.
"It seems that nothing happened to me today," Pavelski said. "But I could not ask for anything more than having that putt to draw on the last hole."
Romo plays as an amateur, so his first $ 125,000 check of the $ 600,000 bag will go to local charities and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, the main charitable arm of the main sponsor American Century Investments.
Rounding out the top five were Trent Dilfer, a Super Bowl-winning quarterback with the Baltimore Ravens in 2001, and former tennis player Mardy Fish. Each had 62 points.
Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry, who got out of the fight with a mediocre round on Saturday, jumped into Lake Tahoe in the middle of a big fanfare after losing a bet with his father, Dell. Curry jumped into the lake last year, so he negotiated a 20-point deficit and won by two points.
Other notable players in the 92-man field included John Smoltz, the MLB Hall of Famer who two weeks ago competed in the US Senior Open. UU and finished tenth here with 53 points; Steph Curry, who finished tied for 11th with retired Marine hero Marine and wounded Andrew Bachelder (50); actor Jack Wagner (16th, 47 points); The quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (tied in the position 18, 44 points); actor Ray Romano (tied for 71, minus 26 points); comedian Larry the Cable Guy (tied at 77, minus 33 points); and former NBA player Charles Barkley, who finished alone in the last with minus 93 points.
The tournament attracted 57,097 fans for the week, setting an attendance record for the fourth consecutive year.