Dilfer ready for Tahoe | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Dilfer ready for Tahoe

Elyse Brightman

Former Baltimore Ravens quarterback and Bay Area native Trent Dilfer competes in multiple pro-am golf tournaments and is a regular at the American Century Championships every summer at Edgewood-Tahoe Golf Course.

This year will be no different and Dilfer will tee off on July 18 with a field of other celebrities and former and current professional athletes.

“Every year I’m blown away by the fan base and how engaged they are. Obviously, they’re there to see celebrities and get autographs and do some fun stuff, but then there’s the golf fans and they care about the golf,” Dilfer said during a telephone press conference this week. “It’s just an incredible environment. I always tell my buddies that haven’t been there, like all of us ex-football players, baseball players, hockey players wish we were PGA golfers. It’s the closest thing we’ll get to do to playing in a PGA event.”

The tournament will nationally televised by NBC Sports July 18-20 and is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Even though Dilfer has been a regular, he claims to have no advantage and says everyone is on an even playing field.

“I wish it gave me an advantage; unfortunately I have not played my best golf at any time here in the tournament days. I played well in practice rounds, I can’t identify why, or I haven’t identified why,” Dilfer said.

Responding to a question about Edgewood’s iconic 17th hole along the Tahoe shoreline, crowded with fans on the beach and in boats during tournaments, Dilfer added, “You know that 17 is interesting because you know, it kind of depends what type of environment you drive in, I’ve always said and I mean that, I wish golf is played in an arena, where it was loud and people are cursing at me, that’s what I am used to.”

He continues to say the real advantage goes to signature celebrity Chad Pfeifer, an Iraqi War veteran who lost his leg in an IED explosion. Pfeifer took up golf as rehabilitation exercise and to practice walking in his new prosthesis.

“I think Chad probably has the advantage since he’s been in a lot more chaotic situations than the rest of us,” Dilfer said. Pfeifer said he hasn’t spent much time in the Tahoe area, but likes to compete and is a solid golfer. He’s won the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s Warrior Open three times and was the 2011 National Amputee Tournament titlist.

“First of all, I think I will be competitive but I am, you know, just so grateful to be invited, I am just there to have a great experience. Win or lose, I will try to play my best golf but I mean, I am sure it’s going to be an outstanding event and I am really excited just for the opportunity,” Pfeifer said.

The strengths of his game are his short game around the green, though he says his putting can be streaky. He’s hoping the elevation will help his long game to reach a couple par 5s and eagles.

Pfeifer took up golf as rehabilitation from a fellow amputee. It allowed him to walk on his new prosthesis on different terrain. He continued to practice the game and brought his handicap from 15 down to single digits.

“I think he’s in for a great experience,” Dilfer said of Pfeifer’s first American Century Championship. “No matter how many times you play, that first tee shot is nerve-racking. Once you get that first one then it’s off to golf.”

Tournament passes are on sale for $50 until May 31 and increase to $60 on June 1. Daily tickets are $15 for the practice rounds / Pro-Am events Tuesday through Thursday and $25 for each tournament round Friday through Sunday.

For more information, a full list of celebrities participating and to purchase season passes and day passes, visit the website http://www.TahoeCelebrityGolf.com.

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