Photo of Mark Rypien courtesy of Jeff Bayer/American Century Championship
Rypien finished with 27 points while actor Lucas Black scored 25 points and former NFL quarterback Chris Chandler totaled 24. The 54-hole event, now in its 24th year, uses a modified Stableford scoring system that awards graduated points for pars or better.
Rypien won the inaugural event in 1990 and finished second a year ago and he has eight top-10 finishes in 21 starts.
“I got it going on my first nine holes and scored 19 points on that side (holes 10-18), by far my best in all the years I have played here,” said Rypien. “The fountain of youth is not in my favor, but I think I am playing better golf now than when I first came out here.”
Rypien’s round was buoyed by an eagle 3 on the par-5 16th hole where he hit a hybrid club to 8 feet and made the putt.
Black had his best round in three years at the event, shooting a 1-under-par 71. Chandler led for a time on the second nine before making a double bogey on his second to last hole (the 8th)
Defending champion Dan Quinn, a five-time winner and former NHL star, struggled with only 13 points and last year’s runner-up Jack Wagner finished with only 10 points.
The event will be televised by NBC on Saturday and Sunday from 3-6 p.m. (EDT).
By Craig Smith, former director of media relations for the U.S. Golf Association.