John Smoltz leads American Century Championship; Annika Sorenstam in 4th place

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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nev. – Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz eagled the par-5 18th hole Saturday to take a 2-point lead over Vinny Del Negro into the final round of the American Century Championship.

“Eighteen is my worst hole,” Smoltz said. “I’ve been in the fairway maybe a couple times. It just didn’t fit my eye. I don’t get many eagles out here. I feel like I should. But that’s a great feeling to know when you can see the scoreboard, knowing that the putt puts you in the lead. That was a good feeling to make that putt.”

Smoltz had a 26-point round at Edgewood Tahoe in the modified Stableford scoring event for a two-day total of 51. Del Negro, a former NBA player and coach, also scored 26 points. In traditional scoring, Smoltz and Del Negro each shot 2-under 70.


American Century Championship: Full coverage and full-field scores


“I make no bones about it. I want to win this tournament probably more than anybody,” Smoltz said. “That’s probably why I haven’t won it.”

Two-time winner Jack Wagner was third at 47 after a 23-point day. Former LPGA Tour star Annika Sorenstam was another point back.

Two-time winner Tony Romo was fifth with 42 and defending champion Mardy Fish matched Stephen Curry at 39.

Sorenstam almost wins boat on 12th hole at ACC

Mike Modano, tied with Smoltz for the first-round lead after an albatross on 18, had a seven-point second round to drop into a tie for 12th at 32 points.

Charles Barkley was tied for 77th in the 88-player field at minus-21. Al Michaels was last at minus-59.