The level of competition just got bumped up a notch in the upcoming American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament.
Women’s golf superstar Annika Sorenstam, winner of 89 international tournaments and over $22 million, will play on even terms with pro athletes in the nationally televised, 54-hole competition at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
“Once you get inside the ropes, I am competitive and I’m sure that’s not going to go away,” said Sorenstam, a part-time resident of Incline Village. “I like the (Stableford) format. I’m playing from the same tees (as the men). Nowadays, I don’t play stroke play, necessarily. So this will be a little different and I’m looking forward to it.”
Sorenstam, 43, is 11 years removed from her memorable international foray onto the men’s PGA Tour at the 2003 Colonial Open in Fort Worth, Texas. Under the media spotlight, she went toe-to-toe with the best players in the world, missing the cut by three strokes and earning global respect for taking the unprecedented challenge.
Sorenstam retired in 2008 and her last tournament came in that season’s year-end ADT Championship.
Now in its 25th year, the July 15-20 American Century Championship tournament uses a modified Stableford format based on a point system by hole.
Confirmed celebrity athlete participants include John Elway, Ray Allen, Steph Curry, Aaron Rodgers, Jerry Rice, Jason Kidd and Steve Young.
Elway and Curry are expected on the leaderboard with eight-time winner Rick Rhoden, the former Big League pitcher who started 33 PGA Champions Tour events after turning 50 in 2003. Other contenders are Trent Dilfer, Jeremy Roenick, Mark Rypien and Billy Joe Tolliver.