American Century Championship at Tahoe
For the past two days, I have been struck with a case of golf envy. Two men from the nearest branch of the family tree are in Nevada watching a golf tournament, and even got themselves hired on as marshals. Before visions of arid desert with hundreds of miles of sage brush spring to mind, this is Tahoe, right on the edge of California. Several hundred miles away, they managed to keep us up to date with a series of pictures and commentaries.
The tournament is not a sanctioned PGA event in the professional sense., In fact, there are few professionals on the premises, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some surprisingly good golfers. This week, only a few days before the beginning of the British Open at Portrush, Lake Tahoe and the surrounding area is hosting the American Century Championship, in which all the competitors are really good at something else,.
In the first few minutes, before I caught on, we received pictures of a golf course where little if any golf was being played. I did, however, recognize a few members of the field. For starters, there was Aron Rodgers (football)sending out a long one to Steph Curry (basketball). And, so it went until the tournament got started.
Now and then, we see a first-rate contender in another sport who can compete on the golf course, even in a field of professionals. They rarely become headliners, but people who are coordinated enough to challenge at Wimbledon, put one out of the park, or land a football within one square foot where someone’s hands appear to be are usually coordinated in other things as well. The tradition goes back a long way, with players such as John Brodie of the San Francisco 49ers playing on tour, and not doing too badly.
That tradition is alive and well in the 21st century. Tony Romo,, long-time quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys, won the tournament, although you’d have to go through the scoring system with me. I don’t get it. It is based on the winner’s score instead of the winner’s score. So, how does that work?
I must say that pound for pound, the North American continent really delivers on natural beauty. We may not have too many Roman Coliseums or Stonehenge sites scattered throughout the landscape, but there sure are some nice golf courses. The sportsmen, actors, and other well-knowns played their vacation tournament at the Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
This place is not to be believed, even among scenes that are not to be believed. Combine majestic mountains and exquisite forest-scapes with mile upon mile of blue shimmering water and clean sky, and you can’t lose. A couple dozen or so miles out of Reno, the lake is a vast wonderland tour for a day trip, or for golfing safaris lasting a week. The town is Stateline, Nevada, a forest postcard with easy access to modern civilization whenever one wants it. The area is one of the best parts in this often-overlooked wonder of the world. The country is both wild and refined. The lake sits at a high elevation, and you might notice a little oxygen debt if you push ahead too fast – but it’s worth it.
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As for our two guys, they will be impossible to live with for weeks after rubbing elbows with Jerome Bettis and the gang. As for Romo, he continues to demonstrate a game that is worth watching. His post career seems ideal, with both broadcasting and playing. Granted, when the British Open starts, the golf heavyweights will descend on Britain from every direction, and all the Rory, Tiger, Phil angst will begin again. Still, the kind of fun one has relaxing at a golf tournament like this couldn’t be better in Stateline or anywhere else in the region.
Look back up at that picture and tell me I’m wrong.