American Century Championship by the numbers
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The American Century Championship will tee off Friday at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, bringing 90 sports and entertainment stars to the area.
Three-time champion Tony Romo will return to defend last year’s win and will headline a field that includes 17 hall of famers and 19 active athletes from across various sports.
Romo, a former NFL quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys, is the favorite (5-2) to win this year’s tournament, followed by former pro tennis player and 2020 winner Mardy Fish (11-4), and former MLB pitcher and three-time tournament champion Mark Mulder (5-1).
NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley will join the field for his 28th tournament appearance. Each year, Caesars Sportsbook offers a proposition bet on whether Barkley can finish in the top 70. He is +310 to finish in the top 70 and -400 to finish outside of it. The former NBA MVP finished 74th last year and 76th the year before. He last posted a top-20 finish in 2002.
“The Top 70 prop for Charles Barkley is our most popular of all the bets we offer on the American Century Championship,” said Anthony Salleroli, Lead Golf Trader at Caesars Sportsbook, in a news release. “Chuck gave us a good sweat last year, and he’s always hovering around that Top 70 finishing position, which makes this bet fun for a lot of people.”
Barkley’s odds to win the tournament sit at 5,000 to 1.
The 54-hole tournament is in its 34th year and will be played across 6,709 yards at Edgewood Tahoe. The purse is again $600,000, much of which will be donated back to local and national charities. The tournament champion will win $125,000, second place gets $60,000, and third place receives $35,000. More than $7 million has been donated to nonprofit causes since the tournament’s inception, according to tournament officials.
Play this weekend will take place using the Modified Stableford scoring format, in which points are scored based on the number of strokes taken at each hole. Former NFL quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver has the highest score in tournament with history, piling up 84 points in 2010. He also tied with former NFL kicker Josh Scobee for the best round with 33 points.
This year’s tournament will feature eight first-time players. Las Vegas Raiders receiver Davante Adams, comedian Nate Bargatze, former MLB All-Star Dexter Fowler, former NFL player and TV host Mike Golic, NHL player Alex Killorn, golf broadcaster Hally Leadbetter, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Baker Mayfield will all maker their American Century Championship debut this weekend.
“One thing I keep hearing is that first tee box, how quiet it is, And like you’re great at what you did, in your football career, but it’s different when you get up there and the ball’s not moving. I imagine my hands are going to be shaking a little bit,” said Mayfield during a press conference, adding this was his first visit to Lake Tahoe.
“I just think that’s a special thing that, obviously, we live a very kind of fast-paced lifestyle. So to be able to come out here to something like this and slow down and get to enjoy the little things, I love that.”
Mayfield is one of five Heisman Trophy winners, including Marcus Allen, Tim Brown, Reggie Bush, and Charles Woodson that will be competing this weekend. Only former NFL quarterback Jim McMahon and actor Jack Wagner have played in all 33 American Century Championship tournaments. Both are scheduled to tee off this weekend.
Football players have combined for the most tournament wins with 12, followed by baseball players with 11, and hockey players with six.
American Century Investments will award $1 million to the first two hole-in-ones each day of the tournament. Ten celebrities and one distributor from Korbel will also have two chances after Friday’s opening round to sink a hole-in-one on the 155-yard 17th hole. An ace will earn $250,000, which will be split between a local charity and the player.
The week kicks off on Thursday with the Korbel Long Drive Challenge. The celebrity player with the longest drive will earn $5,000 for the charity of their choice.
For attendees watching in-person, parking will not be allowed on Lake Parkway this year. The tournament will air on Peacock, the GOLF Channel, and NBC. For more information, visit americancenturychampionship.com.
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