CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. (AP) — Former major league pitcher Rick Rhoden shared medalist honors with Gene Jones in the Champions Tour’s National Qualifying Tournament, securing a spot next year into open qualifiers at all co-sponsored events.
Rhoden, the winner of 50 celebrity golf titles, closed with a 3-under 69 to match Jones (68) at 9-under 287 on the TPC Eagle Trace. They each earned $24,425.
Rhoden had neck surgery this year.
“Today was the best I’ve played in a long, long time,” said Rhoden, one of the best hitting pitchers in baseball history. “I hit only one bad shot today and gave myself a lot of birdie opportunities.”
Mitch Adcock (70) and Rick Karbowski (71) tied for third at 5 under, Jim Chancey (71) and Mike Goodes (73) followed at 4 under, and Greg Hickman (71) and Scott Masingill (75) were another stroke back.
Jim Woodward (72), Craig Marseilles (76) and Kirk Hanefeld (77) tied for 29th at 4 over to earn the last of the 31 spots.
Jones turned 50 in September. He had five birdies and one bogey Friday and made only four bogeys in his final 45 holes.
“I started off poorly the first couple of days with a double bogey on the first hole in round one and a double on my second hole in the second round, but after that I played pretty well,” Jones said. “Today was a good day for us and I’m glad this is over. It’s a tough grind out there, but I put a lot of pressure on myself.”