Mark Mulder charges back to challenge Joe Pavelski at ACC

Tahoe Onstage

Three-time defending champion Mark Mulder watches his tee shot from the 17th hole at the American Century Championship on Saturday. Mulder trails Joe Pavelski by a point.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

It was only a matter of time before Mark Mulder stormed back during the American Century Championship, as thousands of sun-kissed fans once again packed the celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course on Saturday.

Winner of three straight ACC championships (2015-17), Mulder recorded a personal best 31 points on the Stableford scoring system. Finishing tied for 16th on day one, he’s in second place with 47 points on Day 2, one point behind Joe Pavelski with 48.

Mulder, 40, tallied eight birdies and three bogies, scoring 24 points over a nine-hole stretch.

Conrad Buedel

Joe Pacelski blast out of the sand on 18.
Photo by Conrad Buedel / Media West Group

“From 16 on through today I’ve played pretty well,” he said. “I couldn’t hit any worse than the first 15 holes yesterday, so I just kept it going and my putting game followed. I just need to stay in my zone and the rest will take care of itself.”

Mulder, the former Oakland Athletics ace pitcher, credits his aggressiveness toward his huge jump on the leaderboard, including Hole 18, where he found his way out of the sand trap and sunk a signature birdie putt.

“I was really trying to make it to the fairways and greens early on,” he said. “That led to some eagle opportunities, which helped out. Then it all started to flow on the back nine.”

Pavelski, 34, the San Jose Sharks captain, had another solid day, tallying 23 points with six birdies and four bogies. He has played well for two straight days and hopes that continues to a podium finish on Sunday.

“I think I just need to play some solid golf,” he said. “I gotta put a little on (Mulder) out there. You know he’s going to do his thing. But I need to stay within myself and capitalize on my opportunities.”

Similar to stocks, several of the 92 competitors experienced some highs and lows.

Risers include NBA Hall-of-Famer Ray Allen, who started the day tied for 20th and finished in seventh place with a 22-point outing.

“The difference I notice, when you play in that final round, is you have to stay aggressive,” he said. “And today I took those shots and played pretty well and I put myself in a good position.”

Mardy Fish rose up eight spots and is tied for fifth with Mark Rypien at 39 points. Aaron Rodgers rose up five spots after placing 16th Friday, he’s tied for 11th with All-Pro wide receiver Adam Thielen. Former Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo sits at third place, he finished eighth on Day 1.

Fallers include Steph Curry, who tumbled all the way down to 19th place after an eighth-place finish on Friday’s opening round. He has 28 points through two days of action. John Smoltz and Bret Saberhagen fell six spots, and they are tied for ninth place. Charles Barkley is last with -63.

Plenty of movement in the leaderboards makes for an exciting third-day finish Sunday. The ACC attracts record attendance numbers with a lineup of superstar athletes and entertainers.

— Isaiah Burrows

Tahoe Onstage

Steph Curry slam dunks at the party 17th hole on Saturday.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Tahoe Onstage

Danielle Anderson of San Francisco catches Aaron Rodgers pass on Saturday.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Ray Allen tees off at the 15th hole as Steph Curry watches.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Tahoe Onstage

Armando Robles of Napa shows off his Steph Curry autographed jersey with his famous friends.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Tahoe Onstage

Armando Robles reacts moments after scoring a Steph Curry autograph.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Tahoe Onstage

Ray Allen dunks at Lake Tahoe.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Tahoe Onstage

Retired big league slugger Joe Carter watches his shot fly.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

About Isaiah Burrows

Tahoe Onstage sportswriter Isaiah Burrows also is a general assignment reporter for CarsonNow.org, an online news source in Carson City. He is a journalism major at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he writes sports for the Sagebrush student newspaper. He is the Reno Aces beat writer for Tahoe Onstage.

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