The nine celebrities who could truly win the American Century Championship

Tony Romo
Tony Romo is the defending champion at the American Century Championship. (File)

More than 90 celebrities will play in this year's American Century Championship, but only a handful of those have a real chance of winning the tournament. Here is a look at the nine celebrities who could bring home the title this week.

* Tony Romo: The defending champion enters this year's event as the betting-line favorite (5-2 odds). Romo has played in two PGA Tour events this year, missing the cut by 17 strokes in March's Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship and by 10 strokes in May's AT&T Byron Nelson. He's not quite at the level of PGA Tour pros, but he's pretty darn good.

* Mark Mulder: The former MLB pitcher won three straight ACCs from 2015-17 prior to his second-place finish to Romo last year. Mulder fell three points shy of Romo in 2018 after being out-scored by the former NFL quarterback by six points in the final round. If I had to pick one player to win this year's event, it would be Mulder.

* John Smoltz: The Hall of Fame pitcher is the most accomplished player in this year's field who has not won the ACC. He's looking for his first victory in 10 tries at Lake Tahoe. Smoltz, who has three PGA Tour stars in his career, has finished in the top 10 in each of his starts here, with a best finish of tied for second in 2010. Could this be the year he breaks through for a victory?

* Mardy Fish: Fish, the former top-ranked American tennis player and current U.S. Davis Cup captain, is in the same class as Smoltz as a constant contender who hasn't won yet. He has finished in the top five in each of the last four tournaments, including a pair of runner-ups. At 8-1 odds, Fish could be a good value bet.

* Joe Pavelski: The longtime San Jose Shark who signed with the Dallas Stars after 13 years in the Bay Area was the leader after the first and second rounds last year but couldn't seal the deal after being out-scored by nine points by Romo in the final round to finish third, five strokes behind the winner.

* Jack Wagner: Wagner is one of three ACC winners on this list. He won in 2006 and 2011 and remains the only non-athlete to have won the event. He's also one of two celebrities who has played in all 29 ACCs, joined by former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon. While the field has improved over the years, Wagner is still one of the best golfers in the event.

* Jeremy Roenick: The nine-time NHL All-Star has finished second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth in the ACC, so he's covered the entirety of the top 10 except for a first-, eighth- and 10th-place finish. Perhaps this is the year Roenick wins the elusive championship he's been fighting for over the last decade.

* Ray Allen: The former NBA player can go low as we saw last season when he shot 6-under par over the final two rounds while finishing tied for third. Allen is a bit of a long shot at 25-1 odds, but he also finished 11th in 2015, so he has some history of success on the course.

* Steph Curry: Curry is one of the rare huge names at the event who also could win the tournament. He's a scratch golfer who admits to being "haunted" by the game at times. Curry and the Warriors fell short of winning the NBA title this season, losing in six games to Toronto, so maybe he can make up for it by winning his first crown in Tahoe.

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