American Century Championship returns to Lake Tahoe

Charles Barkley demonstrates unique swing at a previous American Century Championship golf tournament.

Charles Barkley demonstrates unique swing at a previous American Century Championship golf tournament.

TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — Lake Tahoe’s biggest week for the public to gush over and rub shoulders with the world’s most recognizable celebrities and athletes is almost upon us.

While the bulk of the American Century Championship golf tournament at Edgewood-Tahoe Golf Course doesn’t get started until next weekend, sports fans and autograph seekers are going to have several chances to get a relaxed look at some of the field a few days earlier.

The tournament’s festivities begin Tuesday with the Tahoe South Celebrity-Am. A practice round and the Harrah’s Celebrity-Am take place Wednesday, and are followed by the American Century Celebrity-Am Tournament on Thursday.

Some of the celebrities who participated in the celeb-am tournaments last year included Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, former Major League Baseball player Kenny Lofton, former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, former NFL quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver and former Washington Redskins quarterback and 2014 celebrity golf tournament winner Mark Rypien.

Tickets to the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday events at the South Shore golf course are $20 per day.

The main tournament runs Friday through Sunday, July 17-19, with television coverage on the NBC Sports Network on Friday, and NBC airing live coverage Saturday and Sunday. Golf Channel will also provide additional television coverage.

The 54-hole event features a celebrity field of more than 80 sports and entertainment stars competing for $600,000 in prize money.

The most recent player list includes singer/actor Justin Timberlake, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, former NBA star and announcer Charles Barkley, former San Francisco 49ers receiver Jerry Rice, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Steve Young, Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr, former NFL quarterback John Elway, former pitcher Roger Clemens and Olympic skier Bode Miller.

Comedians Larry the Cable Guy and Kevin Nealon, as well as actors Brian Baumgartner and Alfonso Ribeiro round out the field.

Tickets for Friday through Sunday are $30 per day. Up to two children under 10 receive free admission when accompanied by a paying adult.

Edgewood is located at 100 Lake Parkway in Stateline. More information is available at


The South Shore is not the only location next week where big names will hit the links.

Sports celebrities highlighted by multiple NFL Hall of Famers will compete in the seventh annual Gene Upshaw Memorial Golf Classic at Schaffer’s Mill Golf Club in Truckee on Monday.

The tournament pays tribute to the former Oakland Raider great and raises funds for the Gene Upshaw Memorial Tahoe Forest Cancer Center and the Tahoe Institute for Rural Health Research.

NFL Hall of Famers Marcus Allen, Marshall Faulk, Mike Haynes and soon-to-be named Hall of Famer Tim Brown will be among 26 celebs competing in Monday’s tourney.

They will be joined by Cy Young winner Vida Blue, former San Francisco Giants first baseman J.T. Snow, Truckee Olympic ski racer Daron Rahlves and former professional snowboarder Kevin Pearce, co-founder of Love Your Brain Campaign.

Practice rounds begin Sunday, followed by a VIP pairings party. Tournament play begins Monday with a 10 a.m. shotgun start followed by an afternoon awards banquet.

Since the inaugural tournament in 2009, the event has raised more than $825,000 for pancreatic cancer research, quality medical treatment and care for cancer patients and their families, sustainability and advancement of medical technology, and funding for research in areas such as mild traumatic brain injury.

Gene’s wife, Terri, and sons Justin and Daniel, established the Gene Upshaw Memorial Fund in memory of Gene, who died Aug. 20, 2008, while under the care of Tahoe Forest Health System.

More information is available at


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