If you’re not familiar with the American Century Championship (ACC), you should be. Held every summer at the Edgewood Tahoe golf course in Stateline, Nev., the golf tournament pits celebrities and pro athletes against one another in a format that’s fun for both participants and fans—in a beautiful setting surrounded by mountains, trees, and the brilliant blue water of Lake Tahoe.
This past summer’s tournament, held from July 9 through 14, marked the event’s 30th year—and my 14th year playing in it. I cherish the opportunity to participate in the ACC because it’s the closest thing I’ll ever get to playing in a PGA Tour event. Every year, I get to compete against some amazing athletes, many of whom have become close friends of mine.
This year, I was paired with former NFL quarterbacks Steve Young and Carson Palmer on Friday, and on Saturday, I got to reconnect with my MLB pitcher pals Roger Clemens and Greg Maddux. The field also included everyone from Justin Timberlake to Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry, who—like many of the participants—is an incredible golfer.
Regardless of finish, the ACC is a guaranteed good time. In addition to golf, there are dinners, concerts, and other activities that help me reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. And it’s all for a good cause: The ACC, which has a $600,000 total purse, has raised some $5 million for charity since 1990. Here are a few personal highlights of a tournament that has become what is no doubt one of the highlights of my year.
The current king of celebrity golf is TV commentator and former NFL quarterback Tony Romo, who took first place at the ACC for the second time in a row. My goal each year is to make it into the top 20, which I was able to do in 2017 and 2018. Unfortunately, this year I dislocated my right shoulder when I stumbled down some stairs about a week before the tournament. That’s my throwing arm, which was operated on three times when I was a pro, and a year ago, I dislocated it leaping head-first off of a two-story houseboat. (I sometimes forget to tell myself that I’m now in my fifties.) And while the ACC training staff was able to get me into good enough shape to play, I had to be content placing in the middle of the pack.