Del Negro beats Smoltz at Edgewood Tahoe


SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nev. — Vinny Del Negro became the first basketball player to win the American Century Championship, birdieing the par-5 18th hole twice Sunday to beat John Smoltz.

Del Negro, the 54-year-old former NBA player and coach making his 20th appearance in the celebrity tournament, birdied the 18th in regulation to force a playoff and won with another birdie on the first extra hole.

Del Negro had a 20-point round at Edgewood Tahoe in the modified Stableford scoring event to match Smoltz (18) with a three-day total of 69.

Del Negro had two birdies and two bogeys for an even-par 72 in conventional scoring. Smoltz had four birdies and eight bogeys in a 76.

With Del Negro in the middle of the fairway in the playoff, Smoltz hit a low drive behind large trees in the right rough. The 54-year-old Hall of Fame pitcher tried to hit a high draw between and over the trees with an 8-iron from 200 yards, but smacked a limb and hit his third into the water left of the green.

Del Negro was just off the front edge of the green in two, left his third 12 feet short and made the birdie putt. He earned earned $125,000.

Tony Romo was third with 66 points after a 24-point day. World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam had an 18-point round to finish fourth at 64.

Charles Barkley tied for 76th among the 87 finishers at minus-28.

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