SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Nev. — Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith and placekicker Ryan Succop, former quarterback Trent Green and head coach Herm Edwards and former Royals stars Bret Saberhagen and Jermaine Dye are among the dozens of celebrities and sports personalities participating in the 2013 American Century Championship.
The Kansas City Star
Events are taking place all this week at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, but the main attraction is the 54-hole tournament that starts Friday and runs through Sunday.
Participants such as Olympian Michael Phelps, South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, former pro football players John Elway, Jerry Rice and Marshall Faulk and a host of NBA stars past and present will be vying for a share of the tourney’s $600,000 purse.
Edwards is competing in the event for the eighth time. Smith, Saberhagen and Green have played in it before, too, but this week’s a first-time experience for Succop and Dye.
Smith, acquired in an offseason trade with San Francisco, told USA Today on Tuesday that he’s happy to be in Lake Tahoe but is excited about the start of Chiefs training camp next week.
“I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,” he said, “and for us, camp right around the corner, I’m pumped.”
The tournament dates to 1990, when former NFL quarterback Mark Rypien was crowned its first champion. Former NHL star Dan Quinn, who caddies for South African pro golfer Ernie Els at most of his U.S. events, won his fifth American Century championship last year, but former major league pitcher Rick Rhoden, who’s now a pro golfer, holds the tourney record for victories — eight since 1991.
Harrah’s Tahoe Sportsbook lists Quinn as a 7-2 favorite to defend his title. At the other end of the spectrum is former NBA player-turned-analyst Charles Barkley, who goes off Friday as a 500-to-1 shot.
The winner takes home $125,000.
The NBC Sports Network will televise Friday’s round from 3-6 p.m. Coverage shifts to NBC on Saturday and Sunday, from 2-5 p.m. both days.