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July 11, 2012
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Annual celebrity golf tournament kicks off Tuesday

Where else have you seen the likes of Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo and Ray Romano in the same place? Nowhere but the American Century Championship.

Event officials are touting this year's celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe — scheduled for July 17-22 — as one of the strongest fields in the event's 23-year history. This year's tournament will air on NBC Sports and promises an impressive field of 78 returnees and newcomers.

The American Century Championship will award $600,000 in prize money, with the tournament winner receiving $125,000. Scoring is based on a modified Stableford format with 10 points for a double eagle, 8 for a hole-in-one, 6 for eagle, 3 for birdie, 1 for par, 0 for bogey, and minus 2 for double-bogey or higher. The 54-hole tournament has been played at Edgewood Tahoe's 6,707-yard lakeside course since its inception in 1990.

Defending champion and Hollywood actor Jack Wagner — part of ABC's “Dancing With the Stars” cast — will return with hopes of adding a third American Century Championship victory to his trophy shelf. He'll have stiff competition with the return of 2010 ACC winner and former NFL quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver; eight-time winner Rick Rhoden and four-time champion Dan Quinn, as well as Tony Romo, who has finished second the last three years.

The arts and entertainment fields are represented by Romano of “Men of a Certain Age” and “Everybody Loves Raymond;” John O'Hurley of “Seinfeld,” “Family Feud” and “Dancing With the Stars;” Alfonso Riberio from “Fresh Prince of Bel Air;” and Bruce McGill of numerous films, including “Animal House” and “The Insider.”

The NFL's shooting stars include Romo and Rodgers, and Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Marshall Faulk; A.J. Hawk of the Green Bay Packers; Carson Palmer of the Raiders; Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings; and former NFL Pro-Bowl running backs Priest Holmes and Jerome Bettis.

Basketball will be represented by greats such as Jordan and Barkley, as well as Jason Kidd, Ray Allen, Stephen Curry, Shane Battier, Los Angeles Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro and ESPN analyst Digger Phelps. Hockey checks in with Brett Hull, Jeremy Roenick, Mike Eruzione, Joe Sakic and Mike Modano.

First-timers this year include New York Giants defensive end Justin Tuck, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten and former big-league slugger David Justice.

For the seventh consecutive year, the American Century Championship will support LIVESTRONG, which serves people affected by cancer and empowers them to take action against the world's leading cause of death. Since the tournament's inception in 1990, more than $3.5 million has been raised for a variety of national and local charities.

Tickets are available for advance purchase online at or or daily during the tournament at the gate.

Prices are $15 each day for the Lake Tahoe Celebrity-Amateur on Tuesday, July 17, the practice round on Wednesday, July 18, and for the American Century Celebrity-Amateur on Thursday, July 19; and $25 for each tournament round on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Kids 10 and under are free when accompanied by a paid adult.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Jul 11, 2012 06:33PM Published Jul 11, 2012 06:31PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.