AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIP | Everything factors into the odds at Harrah’s
Billy Joe Tolliver is not picked to win the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course this weekend, and there are several factors that go into that – his past finishes, his practice rounds and even his late-night activities.
“I’ll tell you one thing about Billy. He played golf with one of my good friends, Larry Sanders, yesterday and I asked Larry what time they went to bed. It was around midnight,” Harrah’s full service gaming manager Steve Schorr said. “So that’s one of the things that for Billy Joe we look at; we don’t know if he’s going to be at the concert or what he’s going to be doing on Saturday night.”
“Like Steve said, it’s hit or miss with me. It depends on how early I can get the drunk shakes off. If it happens by the fifth hole, I’m pretty good,” Tolliver said. “You just hope you can get through three or four and make some hay there. But then usually you settle in, get enough water in you where you’ve recovered from the night before and hope you haven’t wasted it.
“But you never know about me. I’ve got a bad golf swing. It’s just whenever it times up, I’m good. When my timing’s off, I gotta chip and putt.”
The former NFL quarterback is slated behind Rick Rhoden, who is at 4-to-1 odds, and Tony Romo who is favored to win the tourney at 5-to-2 after coming up short last year.
“We do the best we can. And what we came up with on Tony Romo, a couple things that are key. Out of the top 15 players that we really believe have the chance, Tony is active. He’s younger. He’s 32,” Schorr said. “We believe that he’s the best golfer of the bunch. He’s a new father. He’s married. He’s stable. And we think he’s going to kick the door in.”
Rhoden, a former MLB pitcher, has won the ACC eight times. He is looking to bounce back from the previous tournaments, in which he found himself outside of the top five.
“When I’m playing good, I’m pretty good. When I’m not, I’m not. So hopefully this week it will be when I’m playing pretty good,” Rhoden said.
“For us, Rick’s been a great golfer,” Schorr said. “He visits us once in a while. He’s won eight times. We question his last two places. He got a sixth in 2011 and an eighth in 2010. So we’re not sure if his year is over. We hope it’s not. That’s why we’ve got Romo up there as No. 1.”
Speaking of Romo, who has come so close to winning it all in recent years – not the Super Bowl, of course – Rhoden would not be surprised to see him win it.
“I don’t know, Tony’s a good player. I expect him to win this tournament a few times. He just needs to get in more tournaments,” Rhoden said.
“But there’s, I would say, there’s eight or nine guys here; if they play well, they’ve got a pretty good chance,” he added. “I think Tony’s probably the best guy of the group that’s come up in the last five or six years. He’s a good player. It wouldn’t surprise me if he won. I think he’s going to win a few of them before he gets through playing.”
Tolliver doesn’t believe marriage will settle Romo down, saying, “I mean, it’s not like Romo was a wild child anyway.”
In fact, he doesn’t want it to change a thing.
“I mean, I hope marriage keeps him in second, though, I’m not going to lie to you.”