ACC Notebook: Relaxed Mulder gets over the hump
STATELINE — Mark Mulder was comfortable playing with Eric Gagne and Josh Scobee in the final round of the American Century Championship on Sunday. And a relaxed group made all the difference as the former Athletics and Cardinals pitcher won the tournament for the first time.
“Having the two of them in that group today, it was just another round — it was a lot of fun,” Mulder said. “Neither of us took it that serious but yet we’re there to win, all three of us. It was fun playing with those two guys.”
All three players were loose throughout the third round at Edgewood Tahoe, in which Mulder scored 30 points to total 82 and win the tournament by one over Gagne — Scobee finished three points back at 79. Mulder three-putted on 18, enough to secure the championship after three straight years of top-10 finishes.
“They put a lot of pressure on me at the end — I knew they were going to make a run because they didn’t play that well in the first 12, 13 holes,” Mulder said. And both of them got it going there a little bit late — I was lucky to hold on.”
Mulder lives close to Gagne in Scottsdale, Ariz. and has gotten to know Scobee over the past few years. Throughout the round, the three players consistently chatted and joked around.
With things still close on the 17th hole, all three players carried their own bags while their caddies raced down the fairway. When the caddies stopped after only 40 yards, each player dropped their bag and proceeded to the green — keeping the lightness with the ACC title on the line.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better threesome in that final group,” Mulder said. “And I think ultimately that helped.”
SCOBEE CHALLENGES TIGER WOODS, KIND OF
Social media has been the craze, but it can also present a few problems. Third-place finisher Josh Scobee found out recently.
Scobee, who admittedly can be very sarcastic, was picking up dinner for his family when he decided to take a shot at the struggling Tiger Woods.
“If anyone follows me on social media, you know that 99 percent of my tweets are sarcasm,” Scobee said after his 33-point round Saturday at Edgewood. “So I decided to tweet a joke of a challenge to Tiger Woods for an obscene amount of money, and offer him two shots a side.
“But that’s the funny part about it — that’s the joke is that it’s two shots a side. I would need a lot more strokes than that. But people were commenting on it, saying that I was kicking him while he was down. But in all honesty, it was a joke and I would have no chance playing him, even at his worst.”
Scobee was asked what he would do if Tiger accepted the challenge,
“I would respectfully decline (laughter) and if we could take a lot of zeros off the dollar amount, maybe, yeah, I would do it, because it would be fun for the time on the golf course,” Scobee said. “But I don’t think I could compete with him even at his worst.”
VETERANS GO HEAD TO HEAD
Chad Pfeifer, who lost to Rodney Gorman in the 2014 Warrior Open, got a measure of revenge at the ACC. Pfeifer won the rematch by three strokes.
Pfeifer, who finished fifth a year ago in his ACC debut, finished with 55 points. Gorman, who struggled on Friday with just eight points, had 23 points on Saturday and eventually finished with 52.
FISH BESTS WAGNER IN BATTLE BEL AIR BUDDIES
Mardy Fish and Jack Wagner dueled for the 2014 club championship at Bel Air in Southern California, and were grouped together in Sunday’s final round. Fish got the better of his buddy, scoring 22 points compared to 15 for Wagner.
“It was fun,” Fish said. “It always is.”
Once again, the first hole was the toughest of the day, playing to an average of 4.890. The hole gave up just four birdies on the day.
The easiest hole was No. 18, which played o a 5.264 and gave up 21 birdies. All told, there were three eagles and 113 birdies on the day.
For the 54-hole tourney, No. 1 played the hardest (4.821) with just 10 birdies and No. 18 played the easiest at 5.396 (3 eagles, 51 birdies).
SHARON AWARDED UPSHAW SCHOLARSHIP
Whittell High student Daria Sharon was awarded the Gene Upshaw Memorial Scholarship, announced at a press conference Sunday at Edgewood Tahoe. The standout student and three-sport athlete is the latest recipient of the seventh-annual award.
Sharon, an incoming senior at Whittell, has maintained a 4.0 cumulative GPA throughout the past three years while taking multiple Advanced Placement classes. She plays soccer, basketball, softball and cheers for the Warriors — and will be the school’s student body vice president next year.
NBC Sports and Edgewood Companies both contribute equally to the $5,000 scholarship, which is awarded to individuals possessing characteristics of leadership, community service, and academic excellence. Terri Upshaw, Gene’s widow, was at Edgewood to present the award.
ROBERTSON WINS CLOSEST-TO-THE-HOLE CONTEST
Willie Robertson finished well off the lead in his first American Century Championship — but is still leaving the tournament with some hardware. The star of Duck Dynasty won the fourth-annual Korbel Hole-in-One competition following the first round Friday, beating out a field of 13 celebrities.
Robertson finished 12 feet, 1 inch away from the pin to win the contest. In honor of his win, The Korbel Toast Life Foundation donated $5,000 to Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care.
In second place behind Robertson, Golf Channel host Lisa Cornwell showed her All-American skills with a shot that ended 13 feet, 9 inches from the pin. Former MLB All-Star David Wells took third with a distance of 14 feet, 5 inches.
Note: Nevada Appeal Sports Editor Darrell Moody contributed to this report.