Sunday, July 18, 2010

Tolliver Claims His Third Celebrity Event Crown at Lake Tahoe

Billy Joe Tolliver, a former professional quarterback, was never challenged Sunday and claimed his third title at the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. Tolliver scored 26 points in the final round and finished with a record total 84 points, 19 points ahead of actor Jack Wagner and athletes John Elway, Tony Romo and John Smoltz, who were in a four-way tie for second place with 65 points.

The event uses a Stableford scoring format; with 6 points awarded for an eagle, 3 for a birdie and 1 for a par.

Tolliver, who also won the event in 1996 and 2005, was the 36-hole leader at 58 points, 11 points ahead of Wagner. But it was Elway who got the closest to Tolliver on Sunday, pulling to within 70-61 (9 points) after the first nine holes. But, no one got closer.

“My goal was to get to 25 points every day,” said Tolliver, who won $125,000 for the win. “I knew if I shot a 68 or so, it would be hard for someone to catch me. I didn’t miss anything inside 4 feet for three days.”

For the record, Tolliver shot a 69 and only made one bogey, at the 7th hole. His best hole of the day was his last, where the long-hitting Tolliver boomed a 373-yard drive to leave just a sand wedge to the 501-yard par 5. His approach stopped four feet away and he made the eagle putt.

“After I missed my birdie putt on the third hole, I knew I was kind of playing for second place,” said Wagner, who was paired with Tolliver.

“He wasn’t going to back up with as well as he was playing,” said Elway, who slipped out of solo second with a double bogey on the final hole. “I kidded Tony (Romo) that if we made a couple double eagles down the stretch, we might have a chance.”

The American Century Championship has been held at Edgewood Tahoe for 21 years, and it is the longest running celebrity event in golf. The event set an attendance record of 37,550 for the three days.

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