It’s one of the most anticipated events of the year. And it’s this week.
Many of the names and faces you grew up watching are hitting Edgewood at Tahoe’s south shore for the 27th annual American Century Championship.
The three-day, 54-hole tournament officially starts on Friday, but the three days leading up to the tournament are the most ideal for autograph/photo opportunity seekers. Although some of the “golfers” won’t show up until Friday, those who show up early are encouraged to interact with the fans those days.
Lighter crowds and the “serious golf” waiting for the weekend are factors.
As the tournament becomes increasingly popular, the star power is budding. I chatted with Mark Mulder, last year’s winner, during the tournament’s media day last month and he said the tournament is the first thing he schedules every year. The rest of his year forms around the week at Tahoe.
Because the tournament is so enjoyable for the players, Mulder said he can’t say no the opportunity, in fear that he won’t receive another invite.
Among the big names in this year’s field are Justin Timberlake, Steph Curry, Aaron Rodgers, Jerry Rice, Rob Riggle, Jim Harbaugh and of course, Charles Barkley.
I will be posted up on the driving range Tuesday and Wednesday, trying to find a way to fill three hours on the radio from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. both days. Hopefully I can convince a few of the “golfers” to join me.
Mulder, Mardy Fish, Mark Rypien, Eric Gagne and Steph Curry are among the favorites to win the tournament. But that’s only half the storyline.
Maybe the more interesting question is: Will Barkley finish last?
He will be duking it out with Larry the Cable Guy, Blake Bortles, Kevin Nealon and among others, Trent Green.
Rodriguez headed to Northwest Nazarene
Former lanky Wolf Pack big man Kaileb Rodriguez announced on Saturday via Twitter that he will finish his college basketball career at Northwest Nazaene, an NCAA Div. II program in Nampa, Idaho.
Rodriguez appeared in 31 games last year, but averaged just 5.3 minutes a contest, scoring 31 points and pulling down 43 rebounds.
With big man Cam Oliver pulling out of the NBA draft and returning for his sophomore season, Elijah Foster coming back for his junior year, transfers Leland Kind and Jordan Caroline becoming eligible and freshman Josh Hall entering the program, there didn’t appear to be many minutes for Rodriguez this winter.
The former Cal Golden Bear realized this in the offseason, announcing he would not be finishing his career at Nevada.
Nevada football’s 2017 opponents announced
The Nevada football team’s 2017 non-conference opponents were released on Wednesday.
The Pack has road games at the Big 10’s Northwestern and the Pac-12’s Washington State. Nevada beat Northwestern 31-21 in Reno in 2006 before falling in Evanston, Ill. one year later, 36-31. Nevada’s trip to Pullman, Wash. to take on the Cougs will be its first. The Pack topped the Cougars 24-13 at Mackay in 2014.
Home games against Toledo and Idaho State round out the non-conference schedule.
Hawaii, San Jose State, Air Force and UNLV come to Mackay for Mountain West Conference play while Nevada will go to Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State and San Diego State.
A 6-0 mark at home doesn’t appear entirely unlikely (easy to say more than a year in advance), but Nevada will be breaking in a new quarterback (potentially Spanish Springs’ Hunter Fralick).
The road slate is drastically more difficult. Again, it’s far too early to make fair prognostications, but 13 and a half months before the 2017 season begins, it appears a 3-3 road mark would be a success.
Nathan can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. His weekly column, ‘Shoup Shots,’ runs in the hard copy of the Sparks Tribune every Tuesday morning.