Jordan shows there’s life in golf game
STATELINE – The most famous face at the American Century Classic started strong but tested the hazards of Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course on Sunday.
Michael Jordan began the final round tied for 10th at +35 and surged toward the lead with an eagle on the second hole, knocking down a 170-yard iron shot.
The eagle put Jordan at +41 for the tournament, but he would score only eight more points to drop back to 18th by the end of the afternoon.
Jordan, wearing baggy red-and-white checkered pants, played in a group with Joe Theismann and Mark McGwire that had one of the largest crowds on the course. All three wore red shirts, perhaps taking a page out of Tiger Woods’ final-day notebook.
Jordan had a particularly tough time on the back nine, with only one birdie to offset six bogeys and a double bogey. His luck seemed to run out at the 13th hole, where he hit into a sand trap just short of the elevated green. His sand shot rolled within five feet of the hole, but his putt rolled around the edge and out, leaving him with a double bogey.
America’s most famous athlete followed that disaster by sailing his drive on No. 14 onto a sewer grate, from where he took a drop and made par. He hit into bunkers on the next two holes, although he made a spectacular save to within two feet of the cup and tapped in for birdie on 16.
The final two holes were particularly painful for Jordan. He three-putted for bogey after a promising tee shot on the par-3 17, then his drive on 18 hit a tree to the left of the fairway and bounced backward and left behind a group of trees.
Jordan recovered somewhat with a nice cut shot under the trees to the middle of the fairway, but his next shot dropped into the water hazard in front of the green. Jordan made a 25-foot putt to save bogey and not hurt his score, but it was clearly a day of missed opportunity for a player who hasn’t finished in the top 10 since the inaugural tournament in 1990.
“I felt pretty good out there,” Jordan said. “It just seemed like the ball had a mind of its own.”