The 25th anniversary of the American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe had big expectations, and the six day celebration surely did not disappoint.
The tournament kicked off with three days of Celebrity Pro-Am play. Select players who happened to be high on their luck got the opportunity to play with some of the tournament’s top-notch celebrities, such as Larry the Cable Guy, Chad Pfeifer (an Iraqi veteran and honorary celebrity) and Britton Colquitt.
The party was kept alive by Korbel on their famed territory: the 17th hole where the hole-in-one challenge takes place and between 17 and 18 where the spray off competition is held. Mark Rypien, the winner of this year’s tournament, also won the closest to the pin challenge, getting within 7 feet of the pin. Korbel donated $5,000 dollars to the Tahoe Fund for his efforts.
Not only did Mark Rypien win, but he also set the record for the best final round score at 33 points. Annika Sorenstam, LPGA legend, paid a visit to ACC this year and was close behind Rypien tying with Jeremy Roenick for second.
Chad Pfeifer was the leader after the first round, not only engaging the fans but warming their hearts, as he is said to be “the feel good story of the ACC.” He finished fifth in his first appearance in the American Century Championship.
It doesn’t take much to feel good, though, while watching some of your favorite sports stars and celebrities play the famed Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. In true, fun-loving ACC spirit, a viral video was born after a fan asked Green Bay Packer linebacker, AJ Hawk, to tackle him. Uninjured, the fan prompted cheering and clapping from the surrounding crowd.
Aaron Rodgers, a fan-favorite of the tournament, made an appearance and as expected had a throng of people following his every move. Charles Barkley had the attendee’s attention with his unique swing and his friendly disposition that keeps crowds following the last place finisher year after year.
Twenty-five years is certainly an accomplishment for the event, as is playing in it from its inaugural year. John Elway, Mike Eruzione, Jack Wagner and Jim McMahon have graced the greens with their presence from the very beginning.
The weather was hardly a damper on the ongoing celebration in Tahoe South. For the first time in 25 years rain delayed play and switched up the leader board with three holes left to play.
The town and visitors look forward to next year’s game: however we are not sure how it will get any better than the 2014 championship.