AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIP | Defending champion looks to beat the odds |

AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIP | Defending champion looks to beat the odds

Joe Proudman
Joe Proudman / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Jack Wagner is at 7-to-1 odds to win the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course this weekend, putting him fifth on the list, even though he is the defending – and two-time – champion of the ACC. Former Major League Baseball player and eight-time ACC winner Rick Rhoden saw that as a positive.

“It’s better if you want to make a bet on yourself,” Rhoden said.

Between his win last year and the start of this year’s tournament, Wagner cut a few rugs on NBC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” But it was only a few, as the former “Melrose Place” actor was voted off from the show early in the season. The actor said his time practicing in the dance studio did not cut into his practice time on the golf course.

“I wish it was accurate,” Wagner said. “But unfortunately I was (booted) off way too early. So needless to say, I’ve had more time than I wanted to practice because I was counting on giving Donald Driver a run for his money.”

Wagner said he actually takes six or seven months off from the course during the year, ramping it up a couple months before coming to Tahoe. His goal: play well enough to have the trophy in sight on the last day.

“I think of all us would probably attest to the fact that you want to play well enough to be in the hunt on the last day,” Wagner said. “You want to be in the final, at least, two or three groups, if not the last group, because that’s really, this is our main golf tournament of the year. So however you prepare, you kind of just hope to play well enough and putt well enough to be in the hunt on Sunday, because that’s really what’s so much fun for all of us.”

Even though Wagner’s odds to win aren’t the best, Steve Schorr, Harrah’s full service games manager, said, “One thing I’d like to say about Jack is, looking at all the odds, if there’s one person that, if I was on the outside and I was going to bet, it would be Jack Wagner. And at 7-to-1 there’s value there.”

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