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Ex-QB Chandler wins Tahoe celebrity golf

STATELINE, Nev. (AP) — Former NFL quarterback Chris Chandler won the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, making seven birdies in a nine-hole stretch Sunday to beat six-time winner Rick Rhoden by five points in the modified Stableford event.

Chandler, who twice birdied three consecutive holes and finished with eight birdies and three bogeys for a 5-under 67, had a tournament-record 78 points in the modified Stableford scoring system that puts a premium on birdies and eagles.

Rhoden, a former major league pitcher, played in the U.S. Senior Open last week.

Former NHL goalie Grant Fuhr was third with 70 points, followed by former quarterbacks Mark Rypien (68) and Billy Joe Tolliver (65).

Chandler dedicated the victory to father-in-law John Brodie, the former quarterback and Champions Tour player who finished second in the tourney in 1997 but suffered a near-fatal stroke in 2000 and is still recovering.

A tearful Brodie joined Chandler on 18th green for the presentation of the $125,000 first-place check after having followed him around Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course throughout the tourney.

"He was on every tee box and I saw him on every second shot,'' said Chandler, who credited a putting tip from Brodie before the round with helping him make at least four putts from 20 feet or longer.

"I could hear him laughing at the bad shots and cheering for the good ones,'' added Chandler, whose wife Diane is one of Brodie's five daughters. "He's been as much of a father and as much of a friend as I've had in my life. I'm happy, but I think it's very special for him and he's really, really proud.''

"Special, special,'' Brodie said.

Under the scoring system, eagles are worth six points, birdies three, pars one, bogeys zero, and double bogeys or worse minus-2. The previous tournament record was 76 by Tolliver in 2005.

Chandler has played in 15 of the 18 celebrity tournaments dating to 1990 at Lake Tahoe, finishing seventh or better in each of the past four years.

"I've been knocking on the door a long time,'' he said. "I play because it's fun. To win is even more fun.''

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