By Jerry Del Priore
Former MLB all-star pitcher Derek Lowe surmounted 13 other well-known names in the sports and entertainment industries to defend his Korbel Closest-to-the-Pin Contest title at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship last Friday in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
Lowe launched a memorable, winning shot, landing the golf ball just 21 inches from the hole. For his victorious effort, Lowe walked away with a record-breaking $25,000 prize – with half benefitting Tahoe Prosperity Center on behalf of the Korbel Toast Life® Foundation.
NFL quarterback Josh Allen, who won the “Celebrity Spray-Off” competition on the same greens Thursday, came in second place with a distance of 10 feet and four inches, and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air actor Alfonso Ribeiro, who landed 14 feet and 9 inches from the pin, finished in third.
“We are thrilled to award $25,000 for a first-time, record-breaking shot, of which half will benefit charity,” Gary Heck, owner and president of Korbel Champagne Cellars, said in a press release. “The energy and suspense surrounding this competition seems to grow year over year, but the value in helping the local community is above all the reason for the celebration.”
About the American Century Golf Championship
The 30th annual American Century Championship, a made-for-TV event owned and broadcast by NBC Sports, NBCSN and Golf Channel, is the premier celebrity golf tournament, which also raises funds for local and national charities. The event features a purse of $600,000. The tournament is a 54-hole modified Stableford format that features some of sports’ and entertainment’s greatest celebrities.
This tournament is often referred to as the Super Bowl of celebrity golf, with more than 90 sports and entertainment luminaries. Celebrities scheduled to appear are Charles Barkley, Stephen Curry, Tony Romo, Aaron Rodgers, Alfonso Ribeiro, Jerry Rice, Rob Riggle and Larry the Cable Guy among many others.
Established in 1882 in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, Korbel Champagne Cellars produces the United States’ most popular méthode champenoise champagne. But, the true measure of Korbel’s success during its 137 years can be seen in the impact it’s had on American consumers and its presence at various celebrations throughout the years.
Owned and managed by the Heck family since 1954, Korbel currently makes eleven California champagnes and a limited amount of still wine. In a separate facility, Korbel also produces one of the country’s most respected brandies.