Geno Auriemma has been invited to play for the first time next month in the American Century Championship of celebrity golf, an event that will also feature Charles Barkley, Aaron Rodgers, Steph Curry and Ray Allen. Auriemma is listed at 50-1 odds to win by the Harrah’s/Harveys Lake Tahoe Race & Sports Book.
“There can’t be anyone lower than me,” Auriemma said. “I’m 50-1 with Ray Allen. But if I finished tied with Ray Allen, I will consider it a huge success because he’s not bad for a guy who only plays golf every day.”
As part of its 25th anniversary, other prominent athletes scheduled to compete are John Elway, Ray Romano, Carson Palmer, Steve Spurrier, Jason Kidd, Greg Maddux, Bode Miller, Roger Clemens, Steve Young, Jerry Rice and defending champion Billy Joe Tolliver.
“It ain’t easy being me,” Auriemma joked.
The American Century Championship runs from July 18-20 and is televised nationally by NBC (Saturday and Sunday) and NBC Sports Network (Friday), featuring a celebrity field of over 80 sports and entertainment stars competing for $600,000 in prize money.
“I’ve watched the event on television many times,” Auriemma said. “It happens to fall into my schedule at a good time. It’s during a dead period in recruiting and I am going to be in Las Vegas to speak at a clinic right before. I am looking forward to it.”
Auriemma loves to play golf as much as anything in his life and is considered pretty good at it. But he doesn’t believe he could compete competitively for a sustained amount of time with the pros.
“I’ve played with enough PGA Tour pros in Pro-Ams to know that guys who like to think they are good enough to play with those guys are dreaming,” said Auriemma, whose son Michael is going to caddie for him. “Actually, they aren’t even dreaming, because even in their wildest dreams they don’t realize just how good those guys [the pros] are. They are delusional.
“You know what makes me laugh? When guys turn 50, and already are scratch players, they begin to think they are good enough to play on the Seniors Tour. Really? Freddie Couples is on the Seniors Tour. Are you telling me you are able to play [at his level]? It would be a guy who was a good basketball player in high school thinking if he practiced a little he could play in the NBA. No you can’t.”