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Tolliver Wins American Century Championship
Billy Joe Tolliver two-putted from 25 feet for a par on the third playoff hole to beat Mark Rypien and win the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Lake Tahoe, Nev. Tolliver's victory in the event was the fourth for the 47-year-old.
Tolliver and the 50-year-old Rypien, also a former NFL quarterback, ended up tied at regulation (54 holes) at 67 points in the modified Stableford format, which awards graduated points for pars or better. Retired Major League pitcher Mark Mulder finished third with 66 points, while former NFL quarterback Chris Chandler and four-year NBA player Stephen Curry each had 64.
Rypien, who won the inaugural tournament in 1990, could have won in regulation but his 15-foot putt for birdie on the 501-yard, par-5, water-guarded 18th missed left, setting up the playoff with Tolliver.
On the third playoff hole, the 18th, Rypien's approach from 60 yards out found the lake, opening the door for Tolliver, who had earlier won the event in 1996, 2005 and 2010.
"That hole has my number," lamented Rypien, who birdied the finishing hole just once in three days.
"I'm not sure how we got into a playoff," said Tolliver, who somehow tied Rypien despite totaling just four points on the final four holes of regulation. "I have never been in a playoff like this before. I can't feel my hands right now. I guess I played the sympathy card long enough with Rypien that he finally let me have it. I feel bad for Mark because he hit that bad shot at the end. No one wants to win that way."
Mulder almost got into the playoff with birdies on two of the last three holes. Curry, the crowd favorite as the star point guard for the Golden State Warriors who entered the final round as the points' leader, also came up short, carding just three pars in the final eight holes. Chandler had the lead until he bogeyed the par-3 17th.
"I think I showed I've got what it takes to win here," said Curry. "Obviously, it takes a lot to win. A lot has to go right. The more I play, the more comfortable I get. It's a great environment to play golf in."
Defending champion Dan Quinn finished in 13th place with 51 points.
For all the scores, visit http://www.scoring.r2it.com/golf/acc/Leaderboard.aspx.