Former Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo wins playoff for third American Century Celebrity Championship title

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STATELINE, Nev. — After Mark Mulder held the lead for most of the day, there was some drama to end the 2022 American Century Celebrity Golf Championship.

It came down to two playoff holes and sudden-death drama between three players — Mark Mulder, Tony Romo and Joe Pavelski — to determine the winner. It was the first three-way playoff in tournament history and the fifth playoff overall, and comes off a playoff last year, when Vinny Del Negro outlasted John Smoltz.

They played the 18th hole twice, with Romo emerging the champion after the second trip down No. 18.

All three finished regulation play with 62 points. Romo earned 25 points on Sunday to move into a tie for the lead. Mulder had 17 points Sunday and Pavelski had 27 in the Modified Stableford scoring system.

Mulder had held the lead after the first two days, and for most of Sunday’s round.

But he said he played too conservatively on Sunday.

“I wasn’t nervous, I wasn’t scared, I wasn’t anything. I had a lead. I just played very conservative, unfortunately. It’s as simple as that,” Mulder said.

Romo had four birdies and a bogey on Sunday.

“You work so hard to get in position at the end to be in contention. And once you’re there, it’s actually — that’s kind of fun. That’s what makes it enjoyable. The hard part is getting there,” Romo said. “But feels like once you’re there, you really lock in on exactly what you’re doing. You don’t do a little bit of this or that; you’re like 100 percent, I call it. That’s what I did on the back nine and in the playoff, and just try and do that every time. But it just narrows your focus a little bit more.”

Romo said all his wins at Edgewood are special, but this one stands out a little bit because his children are older and can appreciate it more.

“One of the things I would say that’s a little bit more special about this one is my boys, too, that are older. Jones is 4, so he’ll have glimpses and memories of this a little bit, but the 10- and 8-year-old, Hawk and Riv, they were just so into it,” Romo said. “They were so nervous. They were following me around, and they were like, ‘Let’s go, Dad. Come on. If you do this, we have a chance. He’s like, You could finish third if you keep playing good, Dad.'”

“Afterwards he’s like, ‘I did not think you could do better than third. This is crazy.’ I was like, I know. You don’t get to eat ice cream tonight out of the trophy then, son.”

Pavelski, who plays for the Dallas Stars, would have been the second active NHL player to win the tournament. Mario Lemieux won it in 1998.

Annika Sorenstam finished in a tie for fourth place with Adam Thielen, and Mardy Fish finished in sixth.

It was Romo’s third win in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament with the other wins coming in 2018 and 2019.

Mulder also won the ACC three times, from 2015-17. Rick Rhoden won it seven times and Dan Quinn won four titles.

Romo had no time to celebrate as he is playing a U.S. Amateur qualifying event on Monday in Texas.

The overall purse was $600,000, with $125,000 going to the winner. But Romo donated his prize money to South Lake Tahoe charities.

The tournament has raised $6 million for charity over the years.