No stars at Edgewood, yet |

No stars at Edgewood, yet

Either the celebrities are preparing their games elsewhere or they know the course too well, because there were no star sightings on an ideal summer day Sunday at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

Players normally start trickling in Sunday or Monday for the 54-hole American Century Golf Championship, but local and vacationing golfers still dominated the lake-side course Sunday.

“We know it’s a long week, but we have a good time with this event,” said Jim Frank, an assistant golf pro at Edgewood who worked in the shop taking reservations Sunday. “We have some new faces coming in this year and we expect it to be a big deal with it being the Fourth of July weekend.”

Official practice rounds begin on Tuesday, but several players will get a head-start on the 78-player field today.

NFL Hall of Famer Gene Upshaw has reserved a 9:48 a.m. tee time, while Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Trent Dilfer has opted for an afternoon round. Jockey Corey Nakatani, a Breeders’ Cup champion, won’t be horsing around in Tahoe as he will play morning and afternoon rounds.

Frank says slicker greens will greet the sports figures, entertainers and politicians.

“It’s going to be pretty tough for them this weekend if the course stays the same. The fairways are firm and the greens have been cut down shorter,” Frank said.

Several big names pulled out of the $500,000 championship last week. Welterweight boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya withdrew because of a wrist injury, as did San Diego Chargers quarterback Jim Harbaugh and Mike Modano, a member of the Stanley Cup champion Dallas Stars. Guard Allan Houston, whose Knicks were eliminated by San Antonio in the NBA Finals on Friday night, also won’t play.

Last-minute replacements include Upshaw, hockey player Bernie Nicholls, CNBC analyst Joe Kernen and Chicago Bulls guard Ron Harper.

Practice rounds are scheduled from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday. A third pro-am tournament has been added to the week-long festivities and will comprise part of Tuesday’s play.

Practice round tee times continue from 7 a.m. to 9:10 a.m. (10th tee) and 11:50 to 2:10 p.m. Wednesday. A Caesars Pro-Am will occupy the first tee from 7 a.m. to 9:10 a.m.

The American Century Celebrity-Am Tournament unfolds Thursday at 7 a.m. The 54-hole tournament begins Friday at 9:05 a.m.

Tickets are $10 for practice rounds and $15 for the celebrity-am and each day of the 54-hole tournament.

For ticket information, phone 1-800-AT-TAHOE.

Rhoden favored again

Four-time champion Rick Rhoden has been cast as the favorite by player host hotel Caesars Tahoe at 9-5.

The long shots are Jim Brown, Tim Brown, Rex Chapman, Charles Barkley, Mike Ditka, Tom Dreesen, Bryant Gumbel, Dan Jansen, Jonny Moseley, John O’Hurley, Digger Phelps, Jerry Rice, Ryne Sandberg, Jason Sehorn and Marcus Allen.

For a complete list of player odds, see Scoreboard on Page 2B.

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