George Colli is used to reporting the news, not making it.
The Suffield resident and Fox 61 News reporter unexpectedly found himself teeing off in the Ahmad Rashad Celebrity Team Championship over the weekend at the Mohegan Sun Country Club at Pautipaug.
Not only did Colli play in the event, he and partner Anna Grzebien finished the initial rain-delayed nine-hole scramble portion of the tournament tied for the lead, placing them in the final pairing of Sunday's 18-hole best-ball finale.
Playing alongside former Detroit Red Wings goaltender Greg Stefan and 18-year NBA veteran Herb Williams, Colli and his partner could not sustain the top spot. They wound up taking eighth place in the event, which was won by Green Bay Packers legend Sterling Sharpe and Golf Channel anchor Win McMurry.
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"I couldn't have asked for better people to play with," Colli said after completing the 27-hole tournament. "There were a lot of laughs out of our group over the two days. My game, unfortunately, was the cause of some, if not most. Despite my high-20's handicap showing through with every swing, we were right in the hunt until the end."
Asked in the midst of Sunday's round how she felt carrying Colli, Grzebien quipped, "He's getting heavier."
Colli raved about his playing partner, who was a National Player of the Year at Duke University and is a rising star on the LPGA Tour.
"It's safe to say Anna carried our team," Colli said. "She is definitely a player to follow and an easy person to root for. And she hammers the ball. I'm not sure we used too many of my shots."
Colli said he enjoyed every minute of the experience of hanging with stars like Baseball Hall of Famer Goose Gossage, Pro Football Hall of Famer Marcus Allen, World Series champions David Justice and Doug Flynn, and Rashad, the tournament host.
"Ahmad Rashad and Mohegan Sun were wonderful hosts," he said, "but the MVPs of the weekend were the course maintenance crew who pulled off a miracle having the course playable after all the rain on Saturday."