Stars in Tahoe: Celebrity golf officials tout strongest field in event’s 33 years
STATELINE, Nev. — It’s celebrity golf week at Lake Tahoe and American Century Championship officials are touting the strongest field in the event’s 33 years.
The most prestigious celebrity golf tournament in the country will feature Justin Timberlake, Stephen, Dell and Seth Curry, Annika Sorenstam, Patrick Mahomes, Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers, Charles Barkley, defending champion Vinny Del Negro and first-time participants Colin Jost of Saturday Night Live, WWE superstar The Miz, and singers/songwriters Nick Jonas and Jake Owen.
On Friday, the American Century Championship officially gets underway with the first round of play.
The pairing of former and current NFL players Patrick Peterson, Charles Woodson, and Adam Theilen will get things underway on the first tee at 8:25 a.m.; while NBA player Alex Caruso, and former NFL players Alex Smith and Marshall Faulk open play at the same time on the back nine.
The pairing of former NFL quarterback David Carr, brother and current Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, NHL player T.J. Oshie will be second to the first tee, and will get their round underway at 8:29 a.m.
During a June 27 press conference, Derek Carr talked about his favorite moment from last year’s tournament, which was his first time playing in the American Century Championship.
“My best memory was a Chiefs fan on hole 17 blaring that annoying Chiefs music every time I’d walk down to the green to get my putt,” said Carr. “But I think the cool thing with this, especially being in Nevada now, and living here full time, is for me I see a lot of friends and family from Fresno, a lot of friends and family now from Nevada that have moved here. And it’s really like a big hangout for my family.
“If anyone knows anything about my family, there’s about hundreds of us that travel in packs. Most of the crowd following me is family and friends that I knew when I was a kid and it’s really cool to see people. I had a college coach. I had one of my former NFL coaches just pulled up, and I saw him on, like, hole 16 and all those kind of things. Really cool, fun times.”
After being restricted to 5,000 people in attendance last year, tournament officials are expecting more than 50,000 fans to attend during the week.
“These crowds, it will get you ready for the season, get you ready for the two‑minute drill,” said Carr. “That’s for sure, trying to hit a pitching wedge into the green on 17.”
Carr added that while last year was his first year competing, he’s been coming to the event since childhood.
“Honestly, a lot of my memories were from when I was a kid walking around with my brother and meeting a lot of really cool people, meeting Jerry Rice for the first time,” he said. “And then Jerry Rice picked me, when they had the Pro Bowl selection team, Jerry Rice picks me for his team. He’s, like, I remember when you were a kid at Tahoe, and things like that. I’ve got a lot of cool memories that have come full circle.”
Last year’s winner, Del Negro will tee off along with 2021 Warrior Open Champion Cup golf champion Captain Adam Napier and former MLB pitcher Mark Mulder at 10:08 a.m. Other notable parings at the first tee box include NFL players Hall-of-Famers Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, and Marcus Allen at 9:31 a.m. The Curry family at 9:15 a.m., Mahomes, teammate Travis Kelce, and Timberlake at 10:17 a.m., followed by Barkley, The Miz, and actor/comedian Anthony Anderson at 10:26 a.m.
Round one pairings can be found at americancenturychampionship.com/player-pairings/.
Hitting the sportsbook
Betting-wise, Romo, an NFL commentator for CBS and a former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, and Mardy Fish, the former ATP tennis player, are listed as the co-favorites at 11-to-4, according to the Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.
They are followed closely by Del Negro, the former NBA player and coach, at 5-to-1; former MLB pitchers John Smoltz (9-to-2) and Mulder (13-to-2); and Sorenstam (17-to-2). Steph Curry is listed at 12-to-1, along with former NFL defensive lineman Kyle Williams.
Barkley, the NBA legend who has long been a fan favorite at this event, said in a teleconference call last month that he would likely wager $100,000 on himself to finish among the top 70, a wager that Caesars created last year after learning of Barkley’s improved game.
Barkley has annually finished among the bottom three at the tournament but tied for 76th out of 88 players in 2021. His $100,000 bet last year was returned to him because it is illegal for one to wager on himself in Nevada. He said he would have a friend place the bet for him this year.
Golf Channel, NBC and Peacock will televise coverage Friday-Sunday, July 8-10, with NBC Sports surrounding tournament coverage all week in delivering robust linear and digital coverage.
American Century Championship Tournament Airtimes
Friday, July 8 Peacock, NBC Sports Digital 1-3 p.m. (Live)
Friday, July 8 GOLF Channel 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 9 NBC, Peacock 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (Live)
Sunday, July 10 NBC. Peacock 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (Live)
Fans were lined up Wednesday and Thursday mornings awaiting entrance to Edgewood to watch celeb-amateur event.
On Thursday, golf legend Sorenstam, former pro Paige Spiranac and 2015 Miss America winner Kira K. Dixon took on NFL Hall-of-Famers Allen and Rice in a short-game skills competition. For the second year, Korbel California Champagne hosted a long drive competition. The celebrity group with the longest drive received $5,000 for their charity of choice. The day concluded with a pro-am tournament (results not available at time of print).
TOP FIELD IN TOURNAMENT HISTORY: A field of 87 participants from the world of sports and entertainment will compete in the 54-hole tournament, taking place at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course on the shores of Lake Tahoe. All told, the field collectively represents 17 Hall of Famers, 13 Most Valuable Player awards, multiple Cy Young and Player of the Year Awards, as well as multiple Grammy and Emmy Award winners. The full field for the 2022 American Century Championship can be found Here.
TWELVE FIRST-TIME PARTICIPANTS: A total of 12 first-time participants will compete in the 2022 American Century Championship, including Caruso, Jonas, Jost, Dwight Freeney, Robert Griffith III, Jon Lester, Pat McAfee, The Miz, Jake Owen, Jason Scheff, Harrison Smith and Jayson Werth.
SORENSTAM HEADLINES WOMEN IN FIELD: World Golf Hall-of-Famer Sorenstam will compete in the American Century Championship for a third time (2014, 2021), kicking off the first of a three-week consecutive tournament stretch (Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational, Senior LPGA Championship). She will be joined by TODAY Show anchor/meteorologist Dylan Dreyer, Spiranac and NBC Sports reporter Kathryn Tappen in the field at the American Century Championship this week.
NBC SPORTS BROADCAST TEAM: Host Steve Sands and analyst Peter Jacobsen will anchor NBC Sports’ live tournament coverage from Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. They will be joined by Jimmy Roberts as a hole announcer, along with Notah Begay and John Wood reporting from the course. Dixon will conduct interviews with players in the field throughout the championship.
TODAY SHOW, CNBC, NBC SPORTS REGIONAL NETWORKS AND NBC LOCAL AFFILIATES SURROUND COVERAGE: Wednesday-Friday leading up to the opening round of coverage, the Today Show, CNBC, NBC Sports Regional Networks and local NBC affiliates across the country will prepare viewers for live coverage with interviews from Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course with players in the field.
NBC SPORTS’ BEYOND THE FAIRWAY PODCAST: NBC Sports’ signature golf podcast Beyond the Fairway, hosted by Will Lowery and Doug Smith, will deliver exclusive content and interviews from the American Century Championship throughout the week. Beyond the Fairway and Bet the Edge are available for download on all major podcast platforms, including: NBCSports.com/podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn and iHeart. Beyond the Fairway also is available on GolfChannel.com and full video episodes are available on Golf Channel’s YouTube page and on Peacock.
GOLF CHANNEL NEWS COVERAGE: GOLF Channel’s news shows Golf Today and Golf Central will surround NBC Sports’ live tournament coverage with news coverage and highlights throughout the week.
NBC Sports’ coverage of the American Century Championship will be streamed via NBCSports.com as well as on the NBC Sports app. The official tournament website – http://www.AmericanCenturyChampionship.com – will be a one-stop shop for videos, photos and live scoring. Fans can keep up with the American Century Championship through NBC Sports Group’s social media platforms throughout tournament week, including photos, interviews, video clips, up-to-date news reports and highlights at @NBCSports, @GOLFChannel and @ACChampionship.
MORE THAN $6 MILLION DONATED TO CHARITY: Since the tournament’s inception in 1980, the American Century Championship has donated more than $6 million to charity and non-profits. The event features a $600,000 purse, with $125,000 going to the winner, with many of the players donating their winnings to charities and non-profits.
Tickets are available in advance and only online at http://www.AmericanCenturyChampionship.com
American Century Investments, the title sponsor of the championship since 1998, continues its role in partnership withNBC Sports, the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course and the South Tahoe community.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.