Tahoe celebrity golf: Justin Timberlake finds his groove

Tahoe Onstage
Justin Timberlake drives during a practice round Tuesday at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course.
Michael Smyth / Tahoe Onstage

Editor’s note: The 27th American Century Championship will be held Friday, July 14 through Sunday, July 16, at the Tahoe Edgewood Golf Course in Stateline, Nevada. Tickets at the gate are $20 through Thursday. The cost is $30 during the tournament.

One of last year’s most improved golfers at the American Century Championship, Justin Timberlake is taking his game seriously. The pop singer worked with a golf pro and a caddie during a practice round on Tuesday, four days before the tourney begins. He took multiple fairway shots and putts throughout the round, and he hit the ball quite well during his final four or five holes. Timberlake had by far the largest gallery on Tuesday, about 300 to 400 people. He paid most attention to the smaller kids, giving them high-fives and fist bumps. He signed autographs for 15 minutes afterwards. Timberlake finished 21st last year after coming in a tie for 34th in his tourney debut in 2015. Timberlake and former NFL quarterback Tony Romo tee off at 8:50 a.m. Wednesday in the Harrah’s-Harveys Celebrity-Am Tournament.

Tahoe Onstage
Brendan Conneely, a player on Folsom’s Vista del Lago High School basketball team, and his father Bryan, hope to catch sight of Steph Curry. A huge winter keeps the cross on Mt. Tallac visible.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Stephen Curry was spotted all over the Tahoe Edgewood Golf Course on Tuesday, even though the two-time NBA champion and two-time MVP had not yet arrived. Golden State Warriors apparel – especially a Steph Curry No. 30 game jersey – was the most popular clothing worn by spectators. … Dallas Cowboys, Green Bay Packers and Boston Red Sox shirts and hats also were prevalent, as autograph seekers targeted Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers and Roger Clemens. World Champion Chicago Cubs items have become fashionable, and many spectators donned Oakland A’s attire. Orange and black appears to be reclaimed by Halloween.

Tahoe Onstage
A Cowboy’s lament: Search for a quarterback on Tuesday of celebrity golf week.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Tuesday’s attendance was light, but with Romo back in the field for the first time since 2012, along with the return of Curry and pop singer Justin Timberlake, public relations chief Phil Weidinger predicted the attendance record — 47,109 set last year – will be broken. Advance ticket sales are double what they were a year ago, and food and beverage concessions have ordered 25 percent more supplies.

Tahoe Onstage
Country singer Colt Ford is a straight shooter on the 15th hole. Ford said he will sing informally sometime this weekend with friends Joe Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Taking a break at the turnaround between holes 9 and 10, Timberlake was spotted walking toward the uphill clubhouse. A startled man stumbled and fell on the grass while rubbernecking in the pop star’s invisible wake of eminence. … With a look of concern, former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen sped through spectators near the practice putting area as if he were trying to locate an elusive quarterback in the backfield. He in fact was trying to find a place to park his cart. … Overheard in the gallery at the driving range: “I think he’s somebody!” … Tahoe Edgewood’s spectacular $800-a-night lodge is at the former site of the 9th hole. Beyond a gated swimming pool there is a manicured beachside lawn and a sign that states, “No boat parking, no coolers, no dogs;” understandable considering high-paying guests would not want to step in animal droppings. Someone needs to get the message to the Tahoe geese.

Tahoe Onstage
Two-time champion Jack Wagner signs autographs during a workman-like day.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

Actor Jack Wagner is lean and lanky and his hair is still perfect. He’s competed in every American Century Championship, winning it all in 2006 and 2011. He spent nearly two hours on the driving range. His goal? “It’s the same as everyone here; to not embarrass myself.” He’s also humble. … Two-time defending champion Mark Mulder was among the 21 celebrities from a field of 89 to participate in Tuesday’s Celebrity-Am Tournament. He is seeking to become the first player to win the tourney three years in a row.

Southwesterly winds picked up in the afternoon. Waves splashed on the shoreline and there were ripples across 18’s Lake Laimbeer. After the Sierra Nevada’s biggest winter in decades, the mountains still are capped with snow and the cross on Mt. Tallac is evident. However, the course is in spectacular condition and weather forecasts indicate the wind will be calm by Friday’s opening round.

– Compiled by Tim Parsons and Michael Smyth

Related story: Odds are Tony Romo will win.

Related story: Steph Curry splashes down in Tahoe.

  • American Century Championship
    Harrah’s Harveys Sportsbook odds
    Mark Mulder, 3-1
    Tony Romo 3-1
    Mardy Fish, 9-2
    Mark Rypien, 7-1
    Jack Wagner, 8-1
    John Smoltz, 8-1
    Trent Dilfer 10-1
    John Elway 12-1
    Jeemy Roenick 12-1
    Mike Modano 15-1
    Steph Curry 20-1
    Aaron Rodgers, 30-1
    Justin Timberlake, 35-1
    Paige Spiranac, 40-1
    Charles Barkley, 6,000-1


Tahoe Onstage
Before former big league hurler Derek Lowe approached the 15th Tee, he checked out the pitching mechanics on 10-year-old southpaw Nico Bavaro of Escalon, California.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.


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