Bad hole stays with Wagner for final round
Tin Cup would have been proud.
But unlike the movie character portrayed by Kevin Costner, Jack Wagner had another round to make amends for an unthinkable shot on the final hole of second round of the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship on Saturday.
Sporting a one-shot lead entering the 18th hole of the second round, Wagner tried to execute a lower percentage shot than Lakers’ center Shaquille O’Neill casting from 3-point range.
In the rough and 200-plus yards from the pin, Wagner tried to cut a shot through a 10-yard gap between two pine trees to a pond-guarded green. The risky stroke found the water and sent Wagner spiraling out of the lead.
“I just thought I had a three in my bag or a four for sure,” Wagner said. “I don’t regret the shot at all.”
The former “Melrose Place” star never recovered during the final round Sunday, slipping to a 4-over-par 76 for third place. He bogeyed three of the first four and bogeyed 14 and 15, leaving Dan Quinn and Rick Rhoden to battle for the $100,000 first prize. Wagner was trying to become the first entertainer to win the event.
“Jack got off to a tough start and I’m sure it was a carryover from yesterday,” Quinn said.
Actually the implausible shot only played a part of Wagner’s unraveling on 18. After taking a drop and a one-stroke penalty, Wagner chipped within 12 feet of the hole. But the actor four-putted from there to fall two strokes behind second-round co-leaders Rhoden and Quinn.
“I just completely let down in terms of concentrating and hurrying. Hurrying a shot is just not the way to play golf,” said Wagner, who has finished as high as third in the tourney’s 12-year history.
Wagner only needed to birdie the 18th hole to break the tournament’s one-round scoring record. He began the last hole 7-under par for his round and was playing so well that he reasoned it was a good opportunity to expand his edge over the tour’s two-best players.
“I could have laid up and then chipped up and probably had wedge or something like that and probably made four that way too,” Wagner said. “But on (Friday) I hit an amazing shot to the right and I was really rolling good and I would have rather gone for it and hit it into the water as opposed to laying up.”
Wagner’s last-hole putting collapse sent him to the putting green instead of the bar. For 30 minutes Wagner aligned balls around the hole – all three-footers – and patiently struck most of them in.
But putting wasn’t his only problem on Sunday. Inconsistent driving, chipping and iron play all added up to being out of contention with three holes to go.
“I’ll just have to keep working at it,” Wagner said.
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