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Chandler finishes with record 78 points to stop six-time winner Rhoden

STATELINE, Nev. -- Ex-NFL quarterback Chris Chandler had
seven birdies during a nine-hole stretch Sunday to shoot a
5-under-par 67 and pull away from six-time winner Rick Rhoden for
his first victory in the American Century Celebrity Golf
Championship at Lake Tahoe.

Chandler twice birdied three consecutive holes and finished with
eight birdies and three bogeys for a tourney-record 78 points in
the modified Stableford scoring system that puts a premium on
birdies and eagles. He also set a record with 31 points in one
round.

Rhoden, a former major league pitcher who played in the U.S.
Senior Open last week, finished second with 73 points, followed by
ex-NHL goalie Grant Fuhr (70) and former quarterbacks Mark Rypien
(68) and Billy Joe Tolliver (65).

Chandler dedicated the victory to his father-in-law, former San
Francisco 49ers quarterback John Brodie, who finished second in the
tourney in 1997 but suffered a near-fatal stroke in 2000 and is
still recovering.

A tearful Brodie joined him on the 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," said 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.

Rhoden began the day with 51 points -- three ahead of Fuhr and
four ahead of Chandler and Rypien. He still led after a birdie on
the 536-yard, par 5 No. 4, and held a share of the lead with Fuhr
with 59 points through seven.

But that's where Chandler caught fire, reeling off birdies on
Nos. 8-9-10, then following a bogey on the 11th with three more
birdies.

"On the back side, it just went crazy. I made every putt I
looked at," Chandler said. He also birdied the 16th before closing
with an anti-climatic bogey.

"He won. Nobody gave it to him," Rhoden said. "He hits the
ball a mile."

"And he hits it straight," Fuhr added. "He earned it."

Trailing 79-70 on the 501-yard, par 5 18th, Rhoden still
technically had a chance to win with a double eagle -- worth 10
points -- from nearly 200 yards out. He hit the green, but wide
right, clinching Chandler's victory and the $125,000 first-place
check.

"I've never had a double-eagle so I doubt I was going to get it
when I needed it, over water 190 yards," Rhoden said. "When I got
to 17, I realized I was playing for second place."

Under the scoring system, eagles are worth six points, birdies
three, pars one, bogeys zero and double bogeys or worse, minus 2.

Charles Barkley finished last with minus 94 points. Cheech Marin
was second-to-last with minus 67.

The previous tournament record was Tolliver's 76 points in 2005.
Rhoden twice had tallied 30 points in a single round.

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."

Chandler passed for 28,484 yards in 17 seasons in the NFL with
the Colts, Buccaneers, Cardinals, Rams, Oilers, Falcons and Bears.
He led Atlanta to a 14-2 record and an appearance in Super Bowl
XXXII and still ranks third in career total offense (4,462 yards)
and touchdown passes (32) at the University of Washington.

Chandler said his greatest accomplishment ever was beating a
15-1 Minnesota team in the 1998 NFC championship game, 30-27 in
overtime at Minneapolis.

"I don't think I can ever do anything to equal that again, but
this is a close second," he said.

The three-day tourney drew a total of crowd of 28,004, eclipsing
last year's record attendance of 27,402, spokesman Phil Weidinger
said.