AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIP | Wagner and Mulder end round one with short lead at ACC
STATELINE, Nev. – Jack Wagner birdied the 18th hole at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course on Friday afternoon to finish the first round tied with Mark Mulder at the American Century Championship. Both ended the day with 22 points.
The tournament uses the Stableford scoring system, in which a player earns points based on how many strokes it takes to finish a hole. An eagle is worth six points, a birdie is worth three points, par is worth one point, a bogey is worth no points, and a double-bogey takes away two points from your score.
Favorite Tony Romo ended the day with 20 points. The Dallas Cowboys quarterback had a chance to take the lead on 18. Romo had 17 points and was looking at an eagle, but just missed the cup left. He two-putted for birdie.
“Gosh, I thought I made it,” Romo said about the putt for eagle. “It just didn’t fall.
“I’m only two points back, which is basically half a shot out here but, you know, just didn’t play very well today. I haven’t played much golf lately but we’ll try and get it together for the weekend.”
Wager was sitting at 19 points after he parred the 17th hole, a par 3. As he walked from the green to the 18th tee box, he raised both his fists into the air, happy to save par after he overshot the hole by about 30 feet and landed on the fringe.
“I hit pretty good. But must have missed seven or eight putts,” Wagner said after coming off of 18. “I guess I grinded it out.”
With four holes to go, Mulder sat at 18 points. He started the day on the 10th hole, finishing at nine. His big break came on the sixth hole, where he earned a birdie, leaving him with 21 points. He bogeyed the seventh hole, but earned another point when he parred the eighth hole. He finished the first round with another bogey.
Wagner and Mulder weren’t far ahead though, as Ryan Longwell finished the day with 21. Billy Joe Tolliver and Brett Hull, who were paired with Wagner today, finished with 20. Dan Quinn ended Friday at 20 as well, earning a par on 18.
“Sitting at 20 after day one – it was great,” Hull said. “You would like to think you have the ability to win, whether the 6 inches between your ears will let you.”
Longwell said coming into the tournament, he wanted to finish on Friday with around 20 points.
“I thought it would just put me in the mix going forward,” the NFL kicker said. “I’ve had opening days of 13 and 17 and just kind of always playing catch up. Then you’ve got to start forcing shots. This course is gettable, but you don’t want to force shots.”
Longwell compared golfing at the ACC to kicking in an NFL game after his round, noting that the two have situational similarities.
“I think kicking a football probably translates to golf more than any other position these guys play, just because you’re standing around, you’re thinking about the kick, you’re thinking about the shot. You stand over it and pull the trigger,” he said. “I think it translates well. I think with all the chaos of 17, it’s easy to focus in and just hit the shot. Coming from what I do for a living versus coming from anybody else, we see all these people, you get nervous.”
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