Stateline, Nev. – As Dan Quinn was just about to begin his final round at the American Century Championship at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course Sunday, he learned that his friend Erine Els had won the British Open, holding off Adam Scott with a finishing score of 7 under par.
Els had come from six strokes behind two claim his second British Open and fourth major championship. He birdied four holes on his last nine and watched as Scott collapsed four bogeys on his last four holes.
“Last year, there was no way, but this year I started believing a little more,” Els told reporter Tom Rinaldi on camera. “I feel very fortunate.”
Quinn, a former NHL star who will caddie for Els next week at the Canadian Open, was hoping for the same come-from behind victory at the American Century Championship. He started the final round three points behind leader Mark Rypien, a former NFL quarterback.
The event uses a Stableford scoring system that awards graduated points for pars or better.
Perhaps buoyed by the good news about his professional golfer friend, Quinn made three birdies on the first nine and held the lead by two over Mark Rypien with 53 points at his half-way point.
He parred the tenth and then visited with NBC announcer Dottie Pepper. He said he saw Els finish but had to head for the first tee before seeing Scott make bogey on the last hole.
“Absolutely, I believed he would win again,” said Quinn. “We (Ricki Roberts, Els’ other part-time caddie) believe in him. We know how great he is. He just had to start believing in himself again.”
Now Quinn has to believe in himself down the stretch and pocket the $125,000 for first place.
By Craig Smith, former director of media relations for the U.S. Golf Association.