Tahoe celebrity golf: Justin Timberlake, Tony Romo, Patrick Mahomes – and fans – expected back this summer

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TAHOE, Nev. — As the region returns to normal, here is yet another sign of hope.

Fans will be allowed back at the celebrity golf tournament this summer at Edgewood Tahoe.

And Justin Timberlake is expected to be in the field this year after not playing in the event last summer.

Tony Romo and Patrick Mahomes are also expected to play the American Century Championship in 2021.

The tournament is set for July 7-11 in South Lake Tahoe, with fans returning after last year’s attendance restrictions. Tickets will go on sale online beginning Monday, May 17 at americancenturychampionship.com.

In addition to Timberlake, Romo and Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers and Charles Barkley will also be in the 32nd annual tournament. In all, there will be 80 celebrities competing for $600,000 at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.

Changes in store for spectators

Last year’s tournament was conducted without fans due to the the global pandemic. The entire purse of $600,000 was donated to COVID-19 and social justice charities while the event also promoted the Lake Tahoe region.

This year, organizers are working with state, regional and health authorities for spectator access — estimated at half the 60,000 fans who typically line the fairways as well as lakeside in boats next to the famed 17th hole.

Larry Fitzgerald
Larry Fitzgerald

Larry Fitzgerald at the 2020 American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in South Lake Tahoe on Sunday. Photo by Reno Gazette-Journal

Multiple precautions will be taken by event officials and sponsors to ensure health and safety for all participants and attendees. Lake Tahoe tourism authorities have enacted various “Know Before You Go” protocols as well as the Lake Tahoe Take Care Travel Pledge to reinforce mindful and responsible travel efforts.

Tickets will only be available online and only in advance. To promote social distancing and to avoid creating lines, gate sales during tournament week have been suspended. Tickets are $30 each day, for the practice round Wednesday, the Celebrity-Am Thursday, and for each round of the 54-hole tournament Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Fans can purchase up to four tickets each, allowing for more equitable public distribution.

An adult purchasing a ticket can bring in one child, 10 and under, free.

Health precautions will preclude autographs, selfies, handshakes and fist bumps. Fans are asked to respect the necessary space and distance protocols in place.

A complimentary ticket will be available for members of the military plus one guest on a tournament day of their choice. Pre-event registration will be required.

Athletes dominate field

Romo is a two-time champion and Mark Mulder won three times before Romo’s run.

Newcomers to the tournament are New Orleans Saints star Taysom Hill, Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott, Los Angeles Rams offensive tackle Andrew Whitworth, two-time New York Giants Super Bowl champion Justin Tuck and former New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia.

Newly retired future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees is among the contingent of 39 current or former NFL players, coaches and Hall of Famers who will tee it up.

Active players Larry Fitzgerald, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Kyle Fuller, Robbie Gould, Travis Kelce, Patrick Peterson, Golden Tate and Adam Thielen will all play the event.

The field collectively is represented by 16 Hall of Famers, 15 Cy Young award winners and 13 Most Valuable Players.