Romo, Fish renew golf rivalry; Currys still figuring out bet

Dan Hinxman
Defending ACC Champion Tony Romo flashes a smile Wednesday at Edgewood Tahoe.
Rob Galloway / Tahoe Daily Tribune

STATELINE, Nev. – Tony Romo and Mardy Fish are ready to renew celebrity golf’s top rivalry, Vinny Del Negro continues to carry the memory of his father as he looks to defend his title, and the Curry family were still haggling over specifics in their annual wager on the eve of the American Century Championship Celebrity Golf Tournament at Lake Tahoe.

Tournament officials are expecting potential record-setting attendance following two years of no fans (2020) and limited attendance (2021) due to COVID. The 33rd annual tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course begins Friday and concludes Sunday. It is being televised and live streamed on NBC, the Golf Channel and Peacock.

Mardy Fish holds the crystal trophy Sunday, July 12, 2020, after winning the ACC.
Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune

It is the Currys – Golden State Warriors guard Steph, Brooklyn Nets guard Seth and dad and former NBA player Dell – who have become a kind of first family of the ACC in recent years. Their annual wager has become a fan favorite, and while it usually ends up with the loser taking a plunge in chilly Lake Tahoe, it has often encompassed the entire family going in along with their caddies.

On Thursday, though, Steph said they haven’t yet determined the bet or even their handicapping numbers. The tournament’s use of a Stableford scoring system, where players are awarded points for pars (1), birdies (3) and eagles (6), doesn’t make that part easy, Steph said.

“We’ll make that decision tonight over a glass of wine and make sure everybody’s on the same page about what the bet is this year,” said Steph, who last month led the Warriors to their fourth NBA title in eight seasons and was named NBA Finals MVP.

Romo, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback, and Fish, a former tennis player and current U.S. Davis Cup captain, have won three of the last four ACCs and are not surprisingly 1-2 on the list of favorites, Romo at +3.00 (wager $1 to win $3) and Fish at +3.50.

A bit of a friendly rivalry has developed among the pair. Fish edged Romo in a playoff to win the ClubCorp Classic Celebrity Division in Irving, Texas in April.

“We were just texting last night. It would be fun to do the same thing we did in Dallas,” Fish said Thursday. “We had a blast there. Kind of a home game for him, so it felt good to win that one. But he’s a phenomenal golfer.”

Romo has garnered 16% of all dollars wagered at Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill, according to Caesars. The sportsbook has also seen a lot of action on LPGA legend Annika Sorenstam – the line for her to win has moved from +8.50 to +6.00 – and Charles Barkley’s pursuit to finish among the top 70 in the 87-player field. Caesars set the line for a “yes” bet on Barkley to finish among the top 70 at +5.00, but so much money has come in on “yes” that the line has moved to +2.60.

Despite winning last year, Del Negro is listed sixth among the favorites at +6.75. He won last year just days after his dad, Vincent, died.

“My dad’s always going to be with me. I was very close to him,” Del Negro, the former NBA player and coach, said Thursday, one year to the day since his father’s passing. “And he pushed me all those years. I probably wouldn’t be standing here, obviously, if it wasn’t for him just making me practice and believe in myself and compete no matter what you’re doing …

“The emotion of it, winning and then coming back here, it just feels right. And I’m looking forward to playing and see what happens this weekend.”

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.