March 21, 2012 (South Lake Tahoe Calif./Nev.) – Where else have you seen the likes of Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Aaron Rodgers, Tony Romo and Ray Romano in the same place? No where but the American Century Championship (www.TahoeCelebrityGolf.com).
Early commitments to the July 17-22, 2012 American Century Championship are taking shape indicating one of the strongest NFL fields in the golf tournament’s 23-year history with the roster addition of New York Giants Super Bowl Champion defensive-end Justin Tuck; Denver Broncos Hall of Fame quarterback and VP of Operations John Elway; NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice; boxing legend Oscar De La Hoya; former MLB All-Star first-baseman Tino Martinez. This year's $600,000 tournament on NBC Sports promises an impressive field of 78 returnees and newcomers.
First-timers this year include Tuck, Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, Dallas Cowboys tight-end Jason Witten and former New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics slugger David Justice.
Celebrity sightings, parties and superstar entertainment are on tap for South Lake Tahoe during the week-long festivities. The increased participation of entertainment luminaries and star-studded personalities and athletes has tournament buzz beginning earlier than ever before.
For the seventh consecutive year, the American Century Championship is proud to be supporting LIVESTRONG, which serves people affected by cancer and empowers them to take action against the world's leading cause of death. Created as the Lance Armstrong Foundation in 1997 by cancer survivor and champion cyclist Lance Armstrong, the organization is now known publicly by its powerful brand -- LIVESTRONG -- and is a leader in the global movement on behalf of 28 million people around the world living with cancer today. Since the tournament’s inception in 1990, more than $3.5 million has been raised for a variety of national and local charities.
NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network will televise the tournament live as follows:
Friday, July 20: 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. PT (live) on NBC Sports Network
Saturday, July 21: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. PT (live) on NBC
Sunday, July 22: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET, 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. PT (live) on NBC
A re-air of the broadcast times on the Golf Channel will be announced soon.
The American Century Championship will award $600,000 in prize money, with the tournament winner receiving $125,000. Scoring is based on a modified Stableford format with 10 points for a double eagle, 8 for a hole-in-one, 6 for eagle, 3 for birdie, 1 for par, 0 for bogey, and minus 2 for double-bogey or higher. The 54-hole tournament has been played at Edgewood Tahoe’s 6,707-yard lakeside course since its inception in 1990.
Defending champion and Hollywood actor Jack Wagner – part of ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” cast this spring – will return with hopes of adding a third American Century Championship victory to his trophy shelf. He'll have stiff competition with the return of 2010 ACC winner, former NFL quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver; eight-time winner Rick Rhoden and four-time champion Dan Quinn, the former NHL star who is caddying for Ernie Els on the PGA Tour this spring; as well as Tony Romo, who has finished second the last three years.
The arts and entertainment fields are represented by actors Ray Romano of “Men of a Certain Age” and “Everybody Loves Raymond;” John O’Hurley of “Seinfeld,” “Family Feud” and “Dancing With the Stars;” Alfonso Riberio from “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” and Bruce McGill of numerous films including “Animal House” and “The Insider.”
The National Football League’s shooting stars include the aforementioned Romo and Hall of Famers Jerry Rice and Marshall Faulk; A.J. Hawk of the Green Bay Packers; Carson Palmer of the Raiders; Jared Allen All-Pro from the Minnesota Vikings; former NFL Pro-Bowl running backs Priest Holmes and Jerome Bettis.
Basketball will be represented by all-time all-stars Jordan and Barkley as well as Jason Kidd of the World Champion Dallas Mavericks; Boston Celtics star Ray Allen; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry; Shane Battier of the Miami Heat; Los Angeles Clippers head coach Vinny Del Negro; Digger Phelps, ESPN analyst and former Notre Dame coach.
Hockey checks in with Brett Hull, Jeremy Roenick; 1980 Olympic Gold Medal winner and team captain Mike Eruzione; Joe Sakic former NHL All-Star and $1 million 2011 tournament hole-in-one winner; Former NHL All-Star Mike Modano.
Tournament title sponsor American Century Investments is a leading, privately-controlled investment management firm serving professionals, institutions, corporations and individuals. Through its ownership structure, more than 40 percent of company profits support research to help find cures for genetically-based diseases including cancer, diabetes and dementia.
Tickets are available for advance purchase online at www.TahoeSouth.com, www.TahoeCelebrityGolf.com beginning April 1 and daily during the tournament at the gate. Tickets are also being sold at 127 Raley's, Nob Hill and Bel Air locations throughout Northern California and Nevada beginning June 1.
Prices are $15 each day for the Lake Tahoe Celebrity-Amateur on Tuesday, July 17; the practice round on Wednesday, July 18; and for the American Century Celebrity-Amateur on Thursday, July 19; and $25 for each tournament round, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. From April 1 to May 31, a Patron Badge Season Pass, good for admission all six days, will be on sale for $50. Beginning June 1, the price is $60. Kids 10 and under are free when accompanied with a paid adult.
The American Century Championship is also on Facebook and Twitter. For the latest details on the tournament, celebrity tweets and fan contests, click here to join the fun and stay in touch between now and to
For further information, contact:
Steve Griffith Phil Weidinger
Vizion Group Weidinger Public Relations
484/433-7757 (East Coast) 775/588-2412 (West Coast)