Celebrities, Champions Stay on Course

IRVING — It was about competition, but also camaraderie, when seasoned golf professionals teed it up alongside celebrities and athletes from other sports at the annual Invited Celebrity Classic this weekend.

A handful of competitors with local ties were among the fan favorites in the rain-shortened PGA Tour Champions event at Las Colinas Country Club.

English golfer Paul Broadhurst won the tournament with a two-round score of 65-66—131, or 11-under par. He was one stroke ahead of David Toms. Former tennis champion Mardy Fish took the title in the celebrity division, with Hall of Fame pitcher and baseball commentator John Smoltz as the runner-up.

“I’m pleased that I held it together today and felt as though I played really well around the back nine,” Broadhurst said. “You never know when your next win is going to be. My last win was 2018. I did win in Europe on the Legends Tour in [2021], but to win out here again is really special.”

A few former Dallas Cowboys standouts were in the field, including Emmitt Smith, Tony Romo, and Demarcus Ware. Also taking part were former Texas Rangers legend Pudge Rodriguez, former Dallas Stars goaltender Marty Turco, and Hall of Fame receiver Tim Brown.

“I just like playing in tournaments like this,” Smith said. “I like to get in between the ropes with other pros, and I like to compete, like to challenge myself and see how well I can maneuver the ball around. I think I’m a pretty decent golfer.”

Highland Park’s Corey Pavin and former Park Cities resident Justin Leonard each finished in the middle of the pack during a homecoming of sorts.

Leonard, who turned 50 in 2022 to qualify for the Champions Tour, recently returned to competition from the broadcasting booth. Although he’s no longer based in Dallas, his daughter, Avery, is a freshman at SMU.

“I’m enjoying being back and playing again,” Leonard said. “Certainly wasn’t my plan from the get-go when I stopped playing back in 2016, but I go down a path and I don’t look back, but I’m willing to kind of make some changes along the way. This was the right decision for me and my family, and it’s been fun.”

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