NHL’s Oshie surprise leader after 1st round at American Century Championship
Washington Capitals forward came into tourney as 250-1 favorite to win
STATELINE, Nev. — Day one of the American Century Championship is in the books and an unexpected leader has emerged after 18 holes of play at Edgewood Tahoe.
Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie’s odds to win the tournament were 250-1 but following Friday’s round, he’s sitting atop the leaderboard with a high score of 21 using the Modified Stableford format.
Oshie had birdies on the first, fourth, and 16 holes. He then closed out his round by eagling the par-5 on No. 18.
“I had a double on 15. And then a really good look at eagle on 16. And a couple good putts on 17. Feeling some momentum,” Oshie said. “Get really nervous on 18 because there’s a lot of people walking on the right. I tried to hit just a big draw so I made sure I stayed away from them. I wasn’t necessarily worried about the fairway. Ended up hitting a 50-degree wedge to a little over 12, 13 feet, and didn’t really know where the putt was going to go. So my caddie just told me hit it straight and I found the cup.”
Brother’s Derek and David Carr were paired with Oshie but didn’t find the same success. The Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr finished the day tied for 37th with seven points, while former NFL quarterback David Carr is tied for 67th with minus-7 points.
“So much fun playing with (Derek Carr) and (David Carr) today,” tweeted Oshie following Friday’s round. “These guys brought out the best in me for sure.
“I played with Derek last year, I think, and it’s such an easy group of guys,” Oshie said after his round. “Usually I’m extremely nervous at this tournament which is why I’m lucky if I’m in the red numbers by the end. But no, the nerves kind of settled down with those guys. I was just hitting some shots. The putter was really hot tonight. The front nine, I really thought maybe I would just have a really good nine holes, and then kind of fall off. But ended up coming in strong.”
Three-time tournament winner Mark Mulder sits in a tie for second place with 20 points. The former MLB hurler had five birdies on the back nine, but added a double bogey and trio bogeys during that stretch as well.
Golf legend Annika Sorenstam is also tied for second place with 20 points. Sorenstam was consistent on the day with four birdies during her round and three bogeys.
“Overall, the course played a little tougher this year,” Sorenstam said. “The greens are a little more tricky, I think. But overall my game, it was a little mixed bag. I hit some really good shots. Missed a few on the par 3s. I think the par 3s got me in the bunker and didn’t make up-and-down. But obviously it feels good to finish with a birdie, makes lunch feel better, and three points is a lot more than one, so I’ll take it.”
From there it’s a four way tie for fourth place between former NFL quarterback and two-time winner Tony Romo, former NFL quarterback Carson Palmer, former NFL player Mike Modano, and Minnesota Vikings receiver Adam Thielan with 18 points apiece. Romo came into the tournament tied with former pro tennis player Mardy Fish as betting favorites to win this year’s tournament. Fish, the winner in 2020, finished tied for 14th with a score of 15.
In another gambling storyline that’s emerged, NBA Hall of Fame player Charles Barkley finished with minus-10 points in his quest to finish in the top-70 of the 87-player field. Barkley currently sits in a tie for 71st place. Barkley had previously stated he planned to bet $100,000 on himself to finish within the top 70.
For the full leaderboard, visit http://www.scoring.r2it.com/golf/acc/Leaderboard.aspx.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun, a sister publication of the Tribune.
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