Wagner Edges Romo for Win at American Century Championship
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Craig Smith        PDF Version Here  

South Shore, Lake Tahoe, Nev. - Actor Jack Wagner birdied the par-3 17th hole and survived a bogey on the final hole for a 3-point win over Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo at the American Century Championship. Wagner outscored Romo, 80-77, to become the fourth multiple winner in the event's 22-year history. The event used a Stableford scoring system where points were awarded for pars or better.

The 51-year-old Wagner, who also won in 2006, led after each of the three rounds. He made 18 birdies over the 54 holes at the 6,865-yard Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. Wagner shot 69 with seven birdies (worth 3 points apiece) and four bogeys Sunday. Romo shot a bogey-free 66, and his 31 points were a single-round best for the week.

Chris Chandler and Jeremy Roenick finished tied for third, with 66 points.  Eight-time champion Rick Rhoden was fifth with 61 points.

"I just won this golf tournament." said Wagner "I shot 9 or 10 under par (54-hole total) and won. Back then (2006), it felt more like I held on.  Today, the difference was that someone was pushing me to be better."

Wagner held a 10-point lead through eight holes, but Romo rallied with an eagle 2 on the 315-yard 11th hole to cut the lead to 6 points. Romo moved even closer, 75-73, after a par on the 14th.

Wagner missed a golden opportunity to pull away on the par-5 16th, but missed his 6-foot birdie attempt to the left. But the Emmy-nominated actor regrouped on the next tee and hit his 8-iron approach to 12 feet and made the putt, giving himself a nearly insurmountable 4-point lead heading to the last hole. Romo gained a meaningless point there with a par, but lost any chance of catching Wagner when his 8-iron second shot found the pond to the left of the green.

"I needed to be aggressive there," said Romo after his long 336-yard drive left him just 165 yards out. "I knew I needed to make eagle to have any chance. It's disappointing just from the aspect of wanting to win and compete out there. But, you know, Jack deserves all the credit here. He played a great round of golf."

Wagner, who has played in every Tahoe celebrity event, took home $125,000 for his win. Joe Sakic, a retired hockey star, took home $500,000 for his hole-in-one on the 167-yard 17th hole Sunday, using an 8-iron for his first-ever ace.

Wagner has won his Bel-Air Country Club championship six times and has been runner-up at the Los Angeles club 12 times. He is best known for his acting roles on General Hospital and Melrose Place.

Craig Smith, former director of media relations for the U.S. Golf Association.

(Permission granted for general or media use)

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