NFL Quarterbacks Take The Stage At Tahoe Golf

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STATELINE, Nev. (AP) - A bunch of NFL quarterbacks are spending
their last real weekend off before summer training camp playing golf at Lake Tahoe.

Tony Romo, Ben Roethlisberger and Aaron Rodgers teed off in the
same group Friday morning in the first round of the 19th annual American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at the Edgewoood Tahoe Golf Course shrouded in smoke from wildfires in California.

Carson Palmer, Trent Green, Jay Cutler, Vinny Testaverde and Kyle Boller were among the other active signal callers in the field of 80 sports stars and entertainers along with past stars John Elway, Joe Theismann, Jim McMahon, Neil Lomax, Mark Rypien, Billy Joe Tolliver and defending champ Chris Chandler .

"The position of quarterback has the makeup to be a good golfer," said Chandler, who led the Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl in 2000 and now coaches the golf team at Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, Calif.

"In golf, you can't get angry. You can't swing harder and try harder and do better. It's sort of like quarterback. You can't throw harder. You can't really go tackle anybody," he said. "You really have to stay on an event keel and that's important in golf too."

Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Dale Jarrett and TV star Ray Romano were among the others in the 54-hole tournament that is part a true competition for the $125,000 first-place prize and part fun.

An unknown prankster handed out paper masks of Romo's girlfriend, actress-singer Jessica Simpson, to more than 75 fans in the stands behind the first tee to greet the Dallas Cowboysquarterback as the announcer noted he had a "special guest."

"That's a 66 for sure now," said Romo, who boasts a 2.2 handicap index.

Brian Baumgartner, who plays Kevin on NBC's "The Office," was among the celebs making their debut at this year's tourney running through Sunday.

"Don't look at my legs. I'm shaking," he told the gallery before hitting safely into the first fairway.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-07-11-08 1347EDT