AMERICAN CENTURY CHAMPIONSHIP APPROACHES RECORD ATTENDANCE

Deb Howard & Company 2014 volunteers at the Soroptimist tent at Tahoe Celebrity Golf

Deb Howard & Company 2014 volunteers at the Soroptimist tent at Tahoe Celebrity Golf

Sunday weather results in third largest galleries in 25 year history

COURTESY OF TAHOESOUTH.COM

July 29, 2014 (SOUTH LAKE TAHOE Calif./Nev.) – The table was set for record crowds and a dramatic finish with Annika Sorenstam and eight other golfers within striking distance of the championship heading into the final round of the ACC when unseasonal weather moved into the basin.

While the finish was indeed classic – Mark Rypien stormed to victory with an eagle-birdie-birdie finish, the forecast for rain and thundershowers affected Sunday’s attendance resulting in the third highest attendance, 38,495, in the 25 year history of the event.

“While we were disappointed with the weather, we completed what was one of the best tournaments in our history,” said Mike Milthorpe, tournament director. “The important issue is safety and we took every precaution to keep players and fans safe.”

With 38,495 people in attendance over the entire week, the 2014 version finished just short of 2011 and 2012 records with over 40,000. A new one-day attendance record of over 13,000 was established on Saturday as spectators clamored to see Annika’s first competitive tournament action in six years. Hole No. 17, the signature lakefront hole was lined with more than 100 boats and with temperatures ranging in the mid-80s spectators were out in force for celebrity and people-watching.

“The results of this event were outstanding,” said Carol Chaplin, executive director of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority. “The buzz was there, the town was full and lodging occupancy high. The tournament and Tahoe South continue to reinforce our brand as a destination for activities and good times.”

Sorenstam and Chad Pfeifer, the Iraqi war veteran amputee, provided compelling angles for the diversity of media outlets on site. NBC Sports aired the nine hours of live tournament coverage and recaps. The Golf Channel, NFL Films, CNN, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Associated Press, ESPN, and non-NBC affiliate stations all participated in covering the event as well.

Social media garnered major exposure. A video of Green Bay Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk good-natured tackling a fan received over 300,000 views after two days on Golfchannel.com. The video was picked up by NFL.com, NBC Sports, ESPN and went international as well.

The tournament’s Instagram handle gained 350+ followers, Twitter had 400+, and Facebook received 280+ new followers, with a total reach of about 45,000.

Despite the rain delay, the tournament was considered a major success. Mark Rypien won, and as expected, Sorenstam competed, tying for second with Jeremy Roenick. Pfeifer was the week’s feel good story, earning fifth place, $20,000 and an invitation to next year’s tournament. Relegated to last place was Charles Barkley, whose presence delights fans, tournament officials, and the media year after year.

For the latest details, photos, celebrity tweets and fan contests go to @ACChampionship on Twitter and Instagram and facebook.com/LTCelebrityGolf. For tournament information: www.TahoeCelebrityGolf.com.

For real time updates on events, promotions, packages, conditions and events in South Lake Tahoe, visit The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority on Facebook: www.facebook.com/TahoeSouth, Twitter: www.twitter.com/SouthShoreTahoe and YouTube: www.youtube.com/LTVA. For information about Lake Tahoe South Shore, call 1-800-AT-TAHOE (1-800-288-2463) or visit www.tahoesouth.com.

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