Bartkowski & Wagner Tied For Celebrity Lead

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Actor Jack Wagner fired seven birdies and former NFL quarterback Steve Bartkowski had four birdies and an eagle Saturday to tie for the second-round lead Saturday at the American Century celebrity golf championship at Lake Tahoe.

Wagner shot a 5-under-par 67, which translates into 30 points for the day and a two-round total of 51 points under the modified Stableford scoring system at Edgewood-Tahoe Golf Course.

"I feel in great shape because I'm right up there, but anything can happen. Sunday is always a little different," said Wagner, the former star of "General Hospital" and "Melrose Place."

Bartkowski, who led after the first round with 27 points, was tied at 51 thanks to a 25-foot eagle on the par-5 16th hole. Under the scoring system, eagles are worth six points, birdies three, pars one, bogeys zero and double bogeys minus two.

"I love being in the hunt, what it does to me inside and how it makes me feel," said Bartkowski, who still holds several Atlanta Falcons' passing records.

"It's that thrill I used to get on Sunday afternoons when they used to pay me a lot of money," he said.

Ex-pitcher Rick Rhoden equaled the best round of the day, dropping a 20-foot eagle putt on the par-5 18th to shoot a 67 for a two-day total of 45 points after starting the day 12 points behind the leader.

"I'm six back, but that's just one eagle," said Rhoden, who has won the tourney a record-five times, the last time in 2001.

Two-time defending champ Dan Quinn and ex-quarterback John Elway were next on the leaderboard t with 44 points entering Sunday's final round at the 6,710-yard, par-72 course.

"A couple of birdies and you can get right back in it," Elway said. "It's going to come down to the last nine holes, maybe the last four holes."

Quinn, the former NHL star, started the day just a point behind Bartkowski but had four bogeys in Saturday's round.

"I hit a lot of terrible shots. I played very bad," Quinn said.

"It's going to be an exciting day tomorrow," he said.

Wagner has finished third twice and fourth four times but never won the celebrity tourney that dates to 1990.

"It's a really, really tough thing to get your mind over your nerves on the golf course, I don't care who you are," Wagner said.

Wagner birdied four out of five holes during one stretch Saturday beginning on the par-4 eighth.

"My son showed up on the eighth green and I one-putted the next five holes. I felt much better, more comfortable on the golf course when he got there,".

Neil Lomax's son, Mitch, 9, played a different role when his father hit him with a golf ball on the final hole.

"I hit a great tee shot at 18 and I heard over someone's radio that a kid was down. I'm thinking how sad when my (13-year-old) son, Jack, comes running up yelling that I had hit Mitch," he said.

Lomax, a former quarterback who is tied for 16th with 33 points, ran ahead and found Mitch sitting in a marshal's chair, rubbing his head.

"Once I knew he was OK, I said, 'Hey, where's my ball, Mitch!' Turns out it grazed his head and went straight to the beach and I'm thinking I can kiss my birdie chance goodbye," Lomax said.

"But, I chipped back onto the fairway, hit a wedge to the green and put a 30-footer right into the cup for a birdie. So it turns out it was a lucky break that it hit his head after all!"

"Soon as I sank the putt, I gave him the ball so he can tell his kids how his head helped their grandfather with a birdie on 18. I'm going to start rubbing that head for luck from now on."


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