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CHARLES BARKLEY jokes with former MLB pitcher Davis Wells. Photo by William A. Scales

Sports

Quarter century later, Rypien wins ACCG again

By From page A6 | July 25, 2014

STATELINE, Nev. — The 2014 American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course was memorable due to the inclement weather most of the week.

After Sunday’s 3-hour rain delay, former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien (76 points) went on a surge to win his second ACGC title. He won the inaugural title in 1990.

The Silver Anniversary of the event featured 14 new participants including 10-time LPGA Major Champion and second-place finisher Annika Sorenstam.

“It’s been really a fun week, and I’m so glad that I was invited and decided to play,” Sorenstam said.

Without Michael Jordan again, Sorenstam quickly became a crowd favorite. Though a homeowner in Incline, she’s never played a full round at Edgewood.

“You would think being up here since 95 that this would be a regular visit for me but I’ve only played nine holes and I think that was in 2004,” she said. “When I come to Incline, I really don’t play golf. I go to the lake like everybody else.”

Another new celebrity this year was Army veteran Chad Pfeifer who took fifth. He took up golf after losing his leg in 2007 from an IED while in Iraq. He uses the sport to promote the Wounded Warrior program.

“It’s been an amazing experience. Really excited to be part of it,” Pfeifer said. “Been able to meet some amazing athletes, movie stars. And watching these guys growing up, it’s a real honor for me to be here.”

This tournament gives players and spectators alike the opportunity to mingle with celebrities. Steven Vail is a volunteer for the ACGC. “It’s my perks. I really don’t have a favorite. So many of the older ones like Billy Joe Tolliver, Rypien, John Elway make it more enjoyable while some of the younger ones have an attitude, and then of course the comedians, because they enjoy the crowd.

There were sports celebrities in the gallery as well. Race car driver Danika Patrick was following boyfriend NASCAR driver Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. and former NY Giant Amani Toomer and broadcaster Chris Collinsworth were also on hand.

Rypien said he was excited to win the tournament again after being so close so many years.

“Every 25 years. I hope they still have this around in 2050. This is surreal,” Rypien said. “To go eagle-birdie-birdie after the rain. There is a reason why I live in Washington State. We are used to playing in this weather.”

Sorenstam tied Jeremy Roenick for second. Actor Jack Wagner was fourth.

 

Andrew Hazard

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