Some of the world’s best-known athletes and celebrities come together this weekend for the 33rd American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe South in South Lake Tahoe, Nevada for some fun around the links while supporting numerous charities.
The American Century Championship field is the strongest it has ever been with current and former players and actors who have dominated their craft with Hall of Famers, Grammy and Emmy award recipients and some of the greatest athletes of all time.
Charles Barkley and John Smoltz are one of 17 Hall of Famers in addition to 13 competitors who have received MVP honors.
The actors in the field this week include Larry the Cable Guy, Anthony Anderson, Nick Jonas, Alfonso Ribeiro and Justin Timberlake.
Jonas is one of 12 first-time American Century Championship participants this week at Edgewood Tahoe.
Last year’s champion was Vinny Del Negro, who has an NBA background that includes playing, coaching and in front of a screen as an analyst. 18 holes were not enough to determine a winner as Del Negro outlasted Smoltz in a playoff.
The caliber of athletes continues amongst the women in the field with World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam playing for the third time.
The first round of play for the competitors begins on Friday.
American Century Championship scoring format
The scoring format this week is a bit different compared to a tournament on the PGA Tour. This week’s scoring follows a modified stableford format that is then converted into points.
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Curry family has three in the field
It will be a family affair for some, including the Currys. Father, Dell and his two sons, Stephen and Seth will be competing in the field and against one another.
Stephen is coming off a season to remember as he passed Ray Allen for the most 3-pointers made, won the first Kobe Bryant NBA All-Star Game MVP honors, won the Magic Johnson Western Conference Finals MVP honors, his fourth NBA Championship and his first Bill Russell NBA Finals MVP honor.
The 33-year-old, two-time MVP has been a familiar face on the golf course in the past, having played an event on the Korn Ferry Tour while following the footsteps of Michael Jordan of playing basketball, while playing golf during his time away from the hardwood.
Two years ago, Dell and Stephen had a side competition where Steph gave his dad a six-point cushion. Dell made his par putt on the 18th hole to halve the bet.
Stephen will also be in the field with his four-time NBA Championship teammate and 2015 NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala.
Current and former Las Vegas Raiders in the field
Another family battle will commence between Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and his older brother David, who is an analyst on NFL Network after playing a 10-year career.
Derek, who said he would choose golf over not playing for an NFL team besides the Raiders, has put in the work around the links, including saying that he hit a hole in one without anyone to see it.
Carr will be joined by several Raiders’ icons in the American Century Championship field, including Hall of Famers Marcus Allen, Tim Brown, Charles Woodson and Jerry Rice.
NFL players competing in American Century Championship
Other quarterbacks and NFL players and coaches playing in the American Century Championship this week, too.
Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel will be part of the field. Three quarterbacks who competed in the most recent The Match is playing, including Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers and Josh Allen. Mahomes won’t be alone as All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce is also competing.
San Francisco’s Robbie Gould as well as Minnesota’s Harrison Smith and Patrick Peterson are in the field this week looking to play well as the tournament progresses.
Among players who recently retired from the NFL quarterbacks Alex Smith and Carson Palmer, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald as well as 2022 Super Bowl Champion and 2022 Walter Payton Man of the Year Andrew Whitworth is competing this week.
Who will win the American Century Championship?
1. Mardy Fish
Year in and year out, Mardy Fish has been at or around the top of the leaderboard, which includes winning in 2020. Fish’s 2020 victory came with a historic 37-point second round, leading to the nine-point win.
2. Tony Romo
Romo withdrew after two rounds last year following hoisting the trophy in 2018 and 2019. At the time of throwing in the white flag a year ago, the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback had 36 points, which was 19 points behind the leader at the time. With his time in retirement and outside of his work on TV, his time on the links can pay off on Sunday.
3. Mark Mulder
Mark Mulder, who won this event three consecutive times from 2015 to 2017, has finished inside the top eight in each of the last nine tournaments. Thus, it makes a contender once again this year, looking to make 10 straight years with a top-10 finish.
4. Steph Curry
Curry has finished in the top 10 over the last few years, including scoring 56 points last year. If the four-time champ can knock down a few more putts and save some strokes on the course as elevation plays a factor, Curry is player who can be at the top on Sunday.
5. John Smoltz
Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz enters this week American Century Championship looking to rebound after losing in a playoff to Del Negro. Smoltz had the lead last year after two rounds with a 25-point first day and 26-point second round. If he can match that total through all three rounds, Smoltz can reach the top.
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