RANCHO SANTA FE — Of the 56 golfers who teed up for the Cox Celebrity Championship, 48 were professional athletes. But it was a soap opera star and musician who outplayed them all during the three-day tournament May 21 to May 23 at Morgan Run Resort & Club.
Jack Wagner, best known for his roles on “General Hospital” and “Melrose Place,” shot a 2-under-par 140 to take home the $100,000 purse.
Wagner ended the tournament with a one-shot lead over retired major league pitcher Rick Rhoden, who was going for his fifth win at Morgan Run.
Also making news at the event was actor and comedian Ray Romano, whose goal to break 80 was the focus of a Golf Channel reality show. Episodes of “The Haney Project” with former Tiger Woods golf coach Hank Haney were shot during the tournament.
“One down, 78 to go,” Romano said after his first tee shot. But at the end of 36 holes, it appeared everybody loved Raymond except the links. Romano couldn’t break 90 on either of the two days and finished in 51st place with a 43-over-par 185.
The 12th annual charity event, previously called the Celebrity Classic and hosted by Stan Humphries, was hosted this year by Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints.
Proceeds will benefit the Drew Brees Foundation, which was founded in 2003 to advance research in the fight against cancer and provide care, education and opportunities for children in need in San Diego, New Orleans and West Lafayette/Purdue.
The event included a two-day celebrity-amateur tournament, nightly parties and the 36-hole celebrity competition. Tickets were $10 per day. Admission was free for military members and children younger than 10.