Els won the 2012 British Open several hours before Quinn, a former NHL star, held off former quarterback Mark Rypien, 66-60, in a Stableford scoring system that awards graduated points for pars or better.
“My game’s a little bit better than last year,” said Quinn, who arrived in Tahoe early in the week in order to get adjusted to the time difference. “I didn’t play real well last year, but I just ended up winning because I putted well on Sunday.”
Another favorite in the field is actor/singer Jack Wagner, who won the 2011 title
Wagner is one of four golfers who have played in all previous 23 events. The others are former NFL quarterbacks John Elway and Jim McMahon, and former hockey player, Mike Eruzione.
There are 14 celebrity newcomers to the event, including 18-time Olympic gold medal swimmer Michael Phelps. But, the all-time favorite celebrity playing on the 6,875-yard layout is Charles Barkley, who has played all but one year since 1993.
The event will be televised by NBC Sports Network from 4-7 p.m. (EDT) on Friday and by NBC on Saturday and Sunday from 3-6 p.m. (EDT).
By Craig Smith, former director of media relations for the U.S. Golf Association.
Dan Quinn prepares for title defense at American Century Championship
(photo by Jeff Bayer/American Century Championship)