Spectators are in and Sharpies and selfies are out at Lake Tahoe’s July 7-11 celebrity golf American Century Championship.
Organizers announced today 30,000 fans, which is half the typical attendance, will be on hand the 32nd annual event at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Stateline, Nevada. Last year’s tournament allowed no spectators due to the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Advance tickets cost $30 each day and go on sale Monday, May 17. Link. No tickets will be sold at the gate. Saturday and Sunday’s rounds will be televised on NBC.
“Health precautions for everyone will preclude autographs, selfies, handshakes and fist bumps. Fans are asked to respect the necessary space and distance protocols in place,” Weidinger Public Relations wrote in a press statement.
A partial player list revealed the return of the 54-hole tournament’s ambassador Charles Barkley, entertainer Justin Timberlake, and retired and active NFL quarterbacks Drew Brees, Tony Romo, Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers. Newcomers include retired Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia, Taysom Hill, the multi-position player with the New Orleans Saints, and two-time Super Bowl champion pass-rushing specialist Justin Tuck.
Former tennis player Mardy Fish has been an ACC standout for the past few years but struggled mightily with his short game. With no live fans watching in 2020, he sunk putts and cruised to an easy 9-point win. The tournament uses the Modified Stableford format — 10 for a double eagle, 8 for a hole in one, 3 for a birdie, 1 for par, 0 for bogey, and minus 2 for double bogey. The points format began in 2003 to avoid embarrassing scores by notoriously subpar participants such as Chris Webber, Barkley, Kevin Nealon and Lou Holtz, who quit early four times.
Serious threats to defeat Fish will be three-time winner Mark Mulder, Romo, who has won twice, and John Smoltz, a PGA Tour Champions exemption player.
The competition is Friday through Sunday, July 9-11. A Celebrity-Am is Thursday, July 8. Practice rounds are Wednesday, July 7.
People can purchase as many at four tickets, and each ticket holder can bring one child 10 years old or younger.
Last year’s $600,000 purse was donated to Covid-19 and social justice charities.
Whether fan favorite Stephen Curry attends has not been announced. However, there will be at least 16 Hall of Fame members and competitors with a cumulative 13 Most Valuable Player and 15 Cy Young awards.
The press statement continues, “Multiple precautions will be taken by event officials and sponsors to ensure health and safety for all participants and attendees. Lake Tahoe tourism authorities have enacted various “Know Before You Go” protocols as well as the Lake Tahoe Take Care Travel Pledge to reinforce mindful and responsible travel efforts.”