Richest Celebrity Tournament Draws Barkley, Elway, Marino, Lemieux And Others
Big Names Expected to Post Low Scores July 6-8
LAKE TAHOE - Sports All-Stars ranging from Charles Barkley to George Brett and Mario Lemieux will go head-to-head at The American Century Celebrity Golf Championship, the oldest and richest competition on the Celebrity Players Tour, when they tee-off at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course July 6-8, 2001. The tournament hosted the very first Celebrity Players Tour event ever - initially organized as a stand-alone event in 1990 - and now enters its 12th year with a $500,00 purse, more than any other tournament on the Tour which has grown to 15 events.
The level of play among the celebrity golfers has improved dramatically since 1990. In fact Tennessee Titans' All-Pro Al DelGreco, the defending champ at the American Century Championship, actually entered the qualifying and earned a spot in the field for the professional Buy.com Tour event in Lakeland, Florida this year. DelGreco scorched the final round of last year's tournament at Lake Tahoe with a seven under 65 in the lowest one-round score in tournament history. Two other players in this year's Lake Tahoe field, Major League Baseball Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt and Johnny Bench - have both competed in several Senior PGA Tour events on sponsor exemptions.
The odds-on favorite to win the American Century Tournament however is former baseball All-Star pitcher Rick Rhoden who has won this event five times already - each in an odd-numbered year - and is the all-time money winner with $532,282 in earnings at the event while pocketing over $1.5 million in celebrity purses overall.
The American Century Celebrity Golf Championship is a 54-hole stroke play tournament and is the championship event of the Celebrity Golf Association. Celebrities qualify for the championship by having an SGA-certified handicap of 10 or under. This year's field of over 70 includes 5 major league baseball Hall of Famers and 4 All-Stars; 1 National Football League Hall of Famer and 18 All-Pros; 1 National Basketball Association Hall of Famer and 4 All-Stars, 1 National Hockey League Hall of Famer and 4 All-Stars and 23 active pro athletes (16 NFL, 4 NBA, 3 NHL).
NBC Sports will televise live the second and final rounds of the tournament for the twelfth straight year (Saturday, July 7 at 1:00-3:00 p.m. PT and Sunday, July 8 from noon-3:00 p.m. PT). NBC co-owns the event with SFX. ESPN will televise first-round action (Friday, July 6 4:00 p.m. PT delayed).
The American Century Celebrity Golf Championship is sponsored by American Century Investments, a premier investment manager serving nearly two million individual and institutional investors.
June 30, 2001