Two-time defending champ Mark Mulder, Tony Romo listed as co-favorites
For many, it’s one of the most anticipated weeks of the year.
It’s a chance rub elbows, take pictures and laugh with several childhood, and even current, idols from the sports world, Hollywood and pretty much any other spectrum that produces celebrity. And it’s at one of the most scenic locations in the world.
The 28th American Century Championship returns to Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course on the south shore of Lake Tahoe this week. Practice rounds and Celebrity-Amateur events will be held Tuesday-Thursday before the 54-hole modified stableford tournament tees off Friday morning.
The 90 (or so) participants will be competing for the $600,000 purse (the winner gets $125,000), as well as raising funds for numerous charity organizations, but the list of legitimate contenders is significantly smaller.
Two-time defending champion Mark Mulder is back to defend his titles. The former pitcher for the Oakland A’s and St. Louis Cardinals is looking to tie Billy Joe Tolliver for third on the all-time ACC titles list with three and become the first ever to win three straight. Rick Rhoden leads the way with eight.
According to the Harveys Lake Tahoe Race and Sports Book, Mulder is the co-favorite along with recently retired Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo. Romo just joined CBS as a color analyst and will work alongside Jim Nantz in the fall.
An exquisite golfer, Romo tried to qualify for the U.S. Open earlier this summer. He and Mulder were given 3-to-1 odds in front of tennis player and Olympic silver medalist Mardy Fish (9-to-2), Super Bowl champion quarterback Mark Rypien (7-to-1), actor Jack Wagner (8-to-1) and long-time Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz (8-to-1).
Per usual, Charles Barkley, the unofficial mayor of South Tahoe, and his herkie jerky “swing” has the longest odds at 6,000-to-1. Larry the Cable Guy and Actor Kevin Nealon would also pay out nicely, at 5,000-to-1. What they lack in golf finesse, however, they annually make up for in on-course hijinks.
One of last year’s fan favorites, Justin Timberlake, is back and is a more than able golfer. He was given 35-to-1 odds.
While the tournament field boasts numerous retired sports superstars like Romo, John Elway, Marshall Faulk, Brian Urlacher, Jerry Rice, Joe Carter, Greg Maddux, Rodger Clemens, Hines Ward, Jerome Bettis, Marcus Allen, Steve Young, Emmitt Smith, and Jared Allen, the number of active superstars continues to grow.
Fresh off signing a mega-contract that will pay him more than $40 million annually, and a second championship with the Warriors, Steph Curry is back. And he’s a legitimate contender at 20-to-1.
Aaron Rodgers, Patrick Peterson, Carson Palmer, Alex Smith, Golden Tate, Travis Kelce, Jason Kidd, Marvin Lewis, Blake Bortles and Jared Goff are also appearing.
Tickets can be purchased online at americancenturychampionship.com for $20 a day Tuesday-Thursday and $30 Friday-Sunday, or onsite.
NBC Sports will televise all three days of the tournament starting on Friday. The broadcast begins at 3 p.m. the first day and noon the following two.