John Smoltz, the Hall of Fame pitcher, TV analyst and celebrity golf standout, has committed to play in the 30th annual American Century Championship in Lake Tahoe, the tournament announced today.
Best known for his career accomplishments with the Atlanta Braves, Smoltz, 51, won the celebrity division at the inaugural Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions in January after playing in the U.S. Senior Open last year as a surprise qualifier. An occasional playing partner with Tiger Woods, Smoltz recently committed to three events as a sponsor exemption on the PGA TOUR Champions circuit for men over 50 years of age.
He’ll be competing in the July 9-14 American Century Championship for the 10th time, hoping to ride an improved game to his first victory at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, from where the tournament is televised each summer by NBC. He will be joined in the celebrity field by former Braves teammates and starting pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.
Former football quarterback Tony Romo won the tourney last year, ending a three-time winning streak by former big-league pitcher Mark Mulder. Romo will play in his second PGA Tour May 9-12, the AT&T Byron Nelson.
The ambitious schedule of competitive golf is part of Smoltz’s hectic spring and summer schedule covering Major League Baseball for MLB Network and FOX Sports, where he serves as the lead analyst for regular season, post-season and World Series games.
Since 2000 Smoltz has played at Lake Tahoe nine times, where he’s finished in the top 10 every year. His best came in 2010, when he tied for second place with Tony Romo (the 2018 American Century Champion), behind winner Billy Joe Tolliver. He was sixth in 2014, has five ninth place finishes and was 10th at last year’s tournament. His upcoming PGA TOUR Champions schedule includes the Cologuard Classic, March 1-3 in Tucson, Ariz.; the Mitsubishi Electric Classic, April 19-21 in Atlanta, Ga.; and the American Family Insurance Championship, June 21-23 in Madison, Wis.
Last summer Smoltz stunned the sports world by qualifying for the U.S Senior Open in regional competition at the Planterra Ridge Golf Club in Peachtree City, Ga. He went on to compete against the best 50-and-over players in the world at The Broadmoor Golf Club in Colorado Springs. He failed to make the cut, but shot 77 on the second day.
Other early confirmations for the 2019 American Century Championship include Mulder, Marcus Allen, Reggie Bush, Larry The Cable Guy, Vince Carter, Roger Clemens, Herm Edwards, Trevor Hoffman, Mike Modano, Kevin Nealon, John O’ Hurley, TJ Oshie, Carson Palmer, Patrick Peterson, Alfonso Ribeiro, Ivan Rodriguez, Jeremy Roenick, Ray Romano, Mark Rypien, Bret Saberhagen, Sterling Sharpe, Ozzie Smith, Brian Urlacher, Shane Victorino, Jack Wagner, Charles Woodson and Steve Young.