12 newcomers highlight strongest American Century Championship field in 33 years

There are only a few celebrities who have an actual chance to win, but this year that number is higher than it has ever been.

When the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament begins Friday at Edgewood Tahoe, it will feature the strongest field it has had in its 33-year history.

Celebrities participating in the ACC this week include Justin Timberlake; Stephen, Dell and Seth Curry; Annika Sorenstam; Patrick Mahomes; Tony Romo; Aaron Rodgers; Charles Barkley; defending champion Vinny Del Negro and first-time participants Colin Jost of Saturday Night Live, WWE Superstar The Miz, and singers/songwriters Nick Jonas and Jake Owen.

The field has 87 participants from sports and entertainment competing in the 54-hole tournament, which utilizes the modified stableford scoring system.

One difference from the past two years is a full gallery of spectators will be admitted into Edgewood. Capacity was limited to 50 percent last year and no fans were allowed in 2020 due to pandemic restrictions

American Century Championship
American Century Championship

Charles Barkley hits a tee shot during the 2020 American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. (Photo by Tom R. Smedes/Special to RGJ)

The field collectively represents 17 Hall of Famers, 13 Most Valuable Player award-winners and multiple Cy Young and Player of the Year award-winners, as well as multiple Grammy and Emmy award-winners.

There are 12 first-time participants including Alex Caruso, Dwight Freeney, Robert Griffin III, Nick Jonas, Colin Jost, Jon Lester, Pat McAfee, The Miz, Jake Owen, Jason Scheff, Harrison Smith and Jayson Werth.

There are four women in the field, including World Golf Hall-of-Famer Annika Sorenstam, who is competing in the ACC for the third time (2014, 2021).

She will be joined by Today Show anchor/meteorologist Dylan Dreyer, golf personality Paige Spiranac and NBC Sports reporter Kathryn Tappen in the field.

Favorites to win

Vinny Del Negro won in a playoff over John Smoltz last year.

Those two, along with three-time champion Mark Mulder, two-time champ Tony Romo and Mardy Fish, who won in 2020, will likely be among the contenders.

But also look for Annika Sorenstam, who was in contention last year, and Steph Curry is almost always near the top of the leaderboard.

NBC Sports broadcast team

Host Steve Sands and analyst Peter Jacobsen will anchor NBC Sports’ live tournament coverage. They will be joined by Jimmy Roberts as a hole announcer, along with Notah Begay and John Wood reporting from the course. Kira K. Dixon will conduct interviews with players in the field throughout the championship.

American Century Championship
American Century Championship

Tony Romo won the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament in 2018 and 2019 at Edgewood Tahoe. (Photo by Jim Krajewski/RGJ)

American Century Championship Tournament Airtimes

Friday: Peacock, NBC Sports Digital 1-3 p.m.; GOLF Channel 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Saturday: NBC, Peacock, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

Sunday: NBC. Peacock, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. (Live)

NBC Sports’ coverage of the American Century Championship will be streamed via as well as on the NBC Sports app. The official tournament website – – will have videos, photos and live scoring.

American Century Championship
American Century Championship

Paige Spiranac is in the field of 87 celebrities competing in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe this week. (Photo by Andrew Jansen/News-Leader)


Tickets are $30 Thursday and $40 each day Friday through Sunday. Tickets must be purchased online at

More than $6M donated to charity

Since the tournament’s inception in 1980, the American Century Championship has donated more than $6 million to charity and nonprofits.

The event features a $600,000 purse, with $125,000 going to the winner. Many past prize-winners donate their winnings to charities and nonprofits.

Vinny Del Negro celebrates after winning the ACC Golf Tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in South Lake Tahoe on Sunday, July 11, 2021. (Tom R. Smedes/Special to Reno Gazette-Journal)

The celebrities

Josh Allen, NFL Pro Bowl quarterback, Buffalo Bills

Marcus Allen, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back

Anthony Anderson, actor/comedian, “Law and Order” and “Black-ish”

Bret Baier, FOX News chief political correspondent

Charles Barkley, NBA Hall of Fame forward and analyst, “Inside the NBA”

Brian Baumgartner, actor/comedian, “The Office”

Jerome Bettis, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back

Jay Bilas, ESPN college basketball analyst

Tim Brown, Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver

Joe Buck, play-by-play announcer, “Monday Night Football”

David Carr, former NFL quarterback, current NFL analyst

Derek Carr, NFL Pro Bowl quarterback, Las Vegas Raiders

Vince Carter, former NBA All-Star guard/forward

Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls guard

Dell Curry, former NBA guard

Seth Curry, Brooklyn Nets guard

Stephen Curry, four-time NBA champion and two-time NBA MVP, Golden State Warriors

Vinny Del Negro, former NBA head coach

Jay DeMarcus, singer/musician, Rascal Flatts

Dylan Dreyer, Today Show anchor and meteorologist

Marshall Faulk, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back

Mardy Fish, professional tennis player

Larry Fitzgerald, former All-Pro NFL wide receiver

Dwight Freeney, former All-Pro NFL defensive end

Tom Glavine, MLB Hall of Fame pitcher

American Century Championship
American Century Championship

John Smoltz during the ACC Golf Tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in South Lake Tahoe on Sunday, July 11, 2021. (Photo by Tom R. Smedes/Special to RGJ)

Robbie Gould, All-Pro NFL placekicker, SF 49ers

Robert Griffin III, former NFL Pro Bowl quarterback

AJ Hawk, former NFL Pro Bowl linebacker

Andre Iguodala, four-time NBA champion, forward, Golden State Warriors

Nick Jonas, actor/musician, Jonas Brothers, “Jumanji”

Colin Jost, comedian/actor/writer, lead writer for “Saturday Night Live”

Travis Kelce, All-Pro NFL tight end, Kansas City Chiefs

Larry the Cable Guy, actor/comedian

Jon Lester, former All-Star MLB pitcher

Derek Lowe, former All-Star MLB pitcher

Kyle Lowry, All-Star NBA guard, Miami Heat

Patrick Mahomes, NFL MVP quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs

Joe Mauer, former MLB MVP catcher

Pat McAfee, host, “Pat McAfee Show,” former All-Pro punter

Brian McCann, former MLB All-Star catcher

Jim McMahon, former NFL Pro Bowl quarterback

Kevin Millar former MLB player, current MLB analyst

The Miz, professional wrestler, WWE

Mike Modano, NHL Hall of Fame forward

Mark Mulder, former MLB All-Star pitcher

Adam Napier, Wounded Warrior, captain, U.S. Army; winner, Warrior Open

John O’Hurley, actor, J. Peterman on “Seinfeld”

TJ Oshie, All-Star NFL forward, Washington Capitals

Jake Owen, country recording artist

Carson Palmer, former Pro-Bowl NFL quarterback

Joe Pavelski, All-Star NHL forward, Dallas Stars

Michael Pena, actor, “Fantasy Island,” “Narcos Mexico”

Patrick Peterson, All-Pro NFL cornerback, Minnesota Vikings

American Century Championship
American Century Championship

Annika Sorenstam during the ACC Golf Tournament at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in South Lake Tahoe on Sunday, July 11, 2021. (Photo by Tom R. Smedes/Special to RGJ)

Alfonso Ribeiro, actor, “Fresh Prince of Bel Air”

Jerry Rice, Pro Football Hall-of-Fame wide receiver

Rob Riggle, actor/comedian

Aaron Rodgers, All-Pro NFL quarterback, Green Bay Packers

Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, MLB Hall of Fame catcher

Jimmy Rollins, former MLB MVP shortstop

Ray Romano, actor, “Everybody Loves Raymond,” “Ice Age”

Tony Romo, former Pro Bowl quarterback, Dallas Cowboys

CC Sabathia, former MLB Cy Young pitcher

Jason Scheff, musician, Chicago

Alex Smith, former Pro Bowl NFL quarterback

Emmitt Smith, Pro Football Hall of Fame running back

Harrison Smith, All-Pro NFL safety, Minnesota Vikings

John Smoltz, MLB Hall of Fame pitcher

Annika Sorenstam, World Golf Hall of Fame member, 72-time winner, LPGA

Paige Spiranac, golf social media influencer

Kathryn Tappen, reporter, NBC Sports

Miles Teller, actor, “Top Gun: Maverick,” “The Offer”

Joe Theismann, former MVP and All-Pro NFL quarterback

Adam Thielen, Pro-Bowl NFL wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings

Justin Timberlake, Grammy award-winning singer/songwriter

Brian Urlacher, Pro Football Hall-of-Fame linebacker

Chase Utley, former All-Star MLB second baseman

Shane Victorino, former MLB All Star outfielder

Mike Vrabel, NFL head coach, Tennessee Titans

Jack Wagner, actor and singer, “General Hospital”

Tim Wakefield, former MLB All-Star pitcher

DeMarcus Ware, former All-Pro NFL defensive end

David Wells, former MLB All-Star pitcher

Jayson Werth, former MLB All-Star outfielder

Andrew Whitworth, Super Bowl LVI champion, offensive tackle, Los Angeles Rams

Kyle Williams, former NFL Pro Bowl defensive tackle

Charles Woodson, Pro Football Hall-of-Fame defensive back

Steve Young, Pro Football Hall-of-Fame quarterback

Jim Krajewski covers high school and youth sports for the Reno Gazette Journal. Follow him on Twitter @RGJPrepsSupport his work by subscribing to