STATELINE - The second day of the American Century Championship is considered moving day, and ex-NFL running back Marshall Faulk took a significant leap on the leaderboard.
Faulk, who finished with 13 points on Friday, recorded 23 points on Saturday to finish with a 36-hole total of 36 going into today’s final round at the 24th annual event at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
Faulk wasn’t the only one to move up in the standings. Billy Joe Tolliver scored 25 points and sits at 42 after two rounds, and Mark Mulder recorded 21 points en route to a 36-hole total of 38. John Smoltz also climbed into contention with a 19 to give him 37 points. Eight-time champ Rick Rhoden racked up 20 points and sits at 39, eight points off the lead.
“I was just hitting it better,” Faulk said. I hit the ball well yesterday (Friday), but I just didn’t score. Today I was able to score.”
Faulk racked up two straight pars before recording a birdie on No. 3, a 570-yard par-5 to get up to 18 points. He got up to 20 with pars on two of his next four holes. He finished the front with a birdie and par to get to 24 points. On the back nine, he birdied 11, 13 and 17.
Mulder had just one blemish on his card, a double-bogey on the par-5 4th. His round was boosted when he birdied 14, 15 and 16 to get him to 20 points. He tacked on a par at 17 and then finished the round with a bogey.
Tolliver birdied four of his first five holes.
Roenick has fun on 17
Former NHL star Jeremy Roenick gave the fans and the media in the press box a few laughs on the 17th. After John Elway hit off the tee, several footballs and basketballs sailed on the fairway.
Elway grabbed one of the footballs and threw a strike to Roenick, who dropped the ball. Seeking redemption, Roenick went long again, and this time he held onto the ball. He avoided a caddie who appeared to be trying to keep up with him on foot. Roenick executed a barrel roll over a bush like he was crossing the goalline.
“I was embarrassed that I dropped the first one,” Roenick said. “I told him (Elway) from the outset that there was going to be a pass on the 17th. He put it right in my wheelhouse and I dropped it. I said let’s do it again. I grabbed it and did a barrel roll over the bushes.”
Black has game
Lucas Black is 31, and he’s already had the good fortune of landing roles in two of the best sports movies in recent memory, Friday Night Lights and 42.
Black played Dodger shortstop Pee Wee Reese in 42, which recently came out on video. The movie talked about Jackie Robinson cracking the color barrier by signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization. The movie covered his first year of professional baseball with Montreal and then his first year in Major League Baseball in Brooklyn where he won Rookie of the Year honors.
“It was a great experience,” Black said Friday afternoon. “Learning what Jackie had to go through. I was really happy with the way it turned out.”
Black played the role of Reese well. Reese grew up in Kentucky, and had that Southern drawl. Black grew up in Alabama, so the drawl was probably the easiest thing about the part.
In Friday Night Lights, Black played Odessa-Permian quarterback Mike Winchell.
“It was a blast,” Black said. “We (the cast) would talk about playing high school football. To see Texas football was great, filling 20,000-seat stadiums; to see the level of play.”
Black played high school football, basketball, baseball and golf during his high school days.
“Sports builds character,” Black said. “I had a chance to learn a lot from playing football.”
Black said he doesn’t have any movie deals on the horizon, which gives him an opportunity to focus on his golf.
Changing times at the ACC
Mark Rypien, the first-round leader on Friday, was asked about changes he’s seen in the ACC since 1990.
“Well, we had Smokey Robinson, Frankie Avalon and Tommy Dreesen,” Rypien said. “Nothing against them. I love them and listen to all their music and humor, and what they brought to the world of entertainment.
“The field, when Jim Karvellas started this many moons ago, it was probably 15-20 guys that had an opportunity to win this. Others were out here for a lot of fun. Guys were marking their balls, picking it up and then marking it. It (the tournament) has come a long ways. There is a lot of legitimacy to this event each and every year, both from the players and entertainment standpoint.
“That’s why there is a great mix, and John Miller (NBC) and his staff deserve a lot of credit for finding that mix of golfers and entertainers. You must understand we’re not a golfing tour, but an entertainment tour. We just like to go out and play golf.”
A good hole for Nealon
The par-3 17th turned out to be a great hole for comedian Kevin Nealon.
The injured Charles Barkley brought Nealon and his playing partner Larry the Cable Guy together at the 17th. He told both golfers that the winner of the hole that he would give $5,000 to be donated to charity to the winner of the hole. Neither player reached the game, but Nealon chipped to about 3 feet and made the putt to win the hole.
Barkley donated $5,000 to Larry’s favorite charity after he won the 18th hole against Nealon.
Break the glass
The first-ever Big Break Last Break Challenge took place on Saturday at the driving range.
There was a square piece of glass and players stood 15 yards away and hit as many shots as needed to break the glass. Some participants quit before they hit the glass or broke the glass.
Joe Theismann and Steph Curry used one swing and 2 seconds to break the glass. They each received $4,000 to donate to their favorite charity. Derek Lowe used one swing and 3 seconds to break the glass. He received $2,000 to his favorite charity.
Actor Brian Baumgartner got so frustrated he threw his club. Not only did he break the glass, but he broke his club, too.
The competition will be a web series on GolfChannel.com. It will be a six-week series leading into NFL Big Break which starts on Oct. 8.
Two for Ray
Comedian Ray Romano, after hitting his tee shot on No. 17, was thrown a basketball by somebody on the beach. Romano promptly shot and made a basket much to the delight of the fans.
Romano is minus-8 after 36 holes.
Urlacher plays well
Former Chicago Bear linebacker Brian Urlacher has 25 points over the first two days. He has just two double-bogeys over 36 holes, both of them coming today.
“I played OK,” Urlacher said. “I had a couple of birdies on the front, but I had a couple of double bogeys on the front.”
Urlacher, who is currently a free agent, was unable to come to contract terms with the Bears, and nobody else in the NFL has made him an offer. He said he’s been doing more fishing than playing golf in his free time.”
The hole report
The field averaged 82.7 on Saturday. The toughest hole was No. 9, a par-4, which played to a 4.894. The second-toughest hole was No. 6, a par-4, which played to a 4.753. The easiest hole was the par-3 12th which played to a 3.435, and the second-easiest hole was a tie between the par-5 18th which played to a 5.506, the par-3 5th (3.506) and the par-5 4th which played to a 5.506.