FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saturday, July 10th, 2021
SATURDAY RD 2 NEWS & NOTES AND SUNDAY PREVIEW FOR THE AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIP
John Smoltz is in the lead after a 26-point second round for a total of 51 points. He’s looking for his first win in 11 tries at the American Century Championship.
Vinny Del Negro is in second after a 26-point second round for a total of 49 points. He is also looking for his first win in his 20th American Century Championship appearance
EXPERIENCE + TRADITION:
Jack Wagner in the hunt with a two round total of 47. Wagner’s last win was 10 years ago in 2011; he also won in 2006. He was the oldest player to win at age 51 in 2011.
Annika Sorenstam is also near the top with a 23-point second round performance for a total of 46. One of the greatest women golfers in history, she has more than 90 world-wide wins. Her last win was in 2008. She would be the first woman to win the tournament.
Images of leaders: https://www.dropbox.com/ (Credit: Norm Duve – American Century Championship).
Will Charles Barkley finish in the top 70? (His quote available as indicated below)
NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley was rumored to have an improved golf game in the weeks leading up to the American Century Championship celebrity tournament.
It wasn’t all that apparent after Friday’s first round of the 32nd annual tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, but he improved on Saturday and now has a shot at winning $500,000.
Barkley, the fan favorite here who has finished among the bottom three out of roughly 80-90 celebrities in 17 straight ACCs, bet on himself to finish among the top 70 in the field of 88. He said he wagered $100,000 and got 5-to-1 odds, down significantly from when it opened at 17-to-1 at the Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.
He opened with minus-16 points on Friday and was tied for 81st place. The tournament uses a modified Stableford scoring system, and players are encouraged to pick up their ball once they have a double bogey (minus-2 points). He had 10 double bogeys.
On Saturday, he had minus-5 points and moved up to 77th place, 7 points behind the pace. He had five pars (1 point) and five double bogeys.
“I played well today,” Barkley said after Saturday’s round, while sweat dripped off his nose. “I made a couple mistakes but I had a really good time playing with these guys (Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott and NBC meteorologist Dylan Dreyer).
“I wasn’t even thinking about the bet — just worried about getting tired walking four days in a row.” Barkley is famous for partying it up at Harrah’s on Saturday night of tournament week. “I’m just going to have fun and watch the (Conor) McGregor fight,” he said.
Ticket Sales: Friday and Saturday’s supply of 5,000 tickets sold-out – the tournament is limiting attendance due to COVID precautions. There is limited availability for Sunday, online only at www.AmericanCenturyChampionship.com for $30 each.
Audio, video, transcripts and quotes of press conferences available:
- Annika Sorenstam
- John Smoltz
- Jack Wagner
- Vinny Del Negro
- Tony Romo
- Stephen Curry
Scores and Saturday pairings/tee times are available: www.americancenturychampionship.com.
Getty Images available: American Century Championship Pictures and Photos – Getty Images
Interview with the winner will be following the broadcast and the trophy presentation approximately 3:00/4:00 p.m. PT. Telecast is scheduled to conclude at 3:00 p.m. PT. Zoom link will be open: https://zoom.us/j/6596390467 and press conferences are streamed on Facebook and Twitter @ACChampionship.
Broadcast air times on NBC on Sunday, July 11 are from 11:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. PT.
Korbel Long Drive Competition: A new version of an old favorite event this year, Korbel hosted a Long Drive Competition at the American Century Championship Celebrity Pro-Am Thursday, July 8th. Taking place on Hole 16 with a lively atmosphere filled with music and Korbel bubbles, 46 players competed. Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback, Patrick Mahomes’ mighty swing produced a drive of 347 yards for the winning drive and $5,000 to his charity of choice – 15 and The Mahomies Foundation.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen took home second place with a drive of 340 yards, and TJ Oshie, Washington Capitals hockey right winger, placed third with 336 yards. Other players on the top ten leaderboard were Travis Kelce (333 yards), Mardy Fish (326 yards), AJ Hawk (326 yards), Mark Mulder (322 yards), Stephen Curry (321 yards), Justin Tuck (319 yards) and Ray Allen (316 yards yards).
Korbel Hole-In-One Contest: Twelve of the most popular names in sports and entertainment joined together on Friday, July 9th, during the American Century Championship to compete in Korbel’s annual Hole-In-One Contest. A signature event and fan favorite at the golf tournament, the Hole-In-One Contest took place on Hole 17 of the Edgewood Golf Course. Actor Michael Pena slammed it home with a powerful swing, landing just 16 feet 4 inches from the hole, taking home first place. In honor of his win $5,000 was donated to the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care.
The Korbel Hole-In-One contest will air on NBC during the American Century Championship live broadcast Sunday, July 11th between 3 – 4 PM EST.
The 32nd annual, 54-hole tournament is set for Friday – Sunday, July 9-11, taking place at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Lake Tahoe. The 54-hole tournament will be televised nationally by NBC and NBCSN with special coverage on GOLF Channel. The celebrity field of 80-plus sports and entertainment stars includes Justin Timberlake, Stephen Curry, Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo, Charles Barkley, CC Sabathia, Ray Romano and John Smoltz. The tournament has raised over $5.5 million for national and local charities and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research.