LAKE TAHOE, Nevada - Coming into the 2013 American Century Celebrity Golf Tournament, the longest odds to win the tournament at Tahoe's Crystal Bay Sports Book were 500-1 on perennial stinker and former Hank Haney pupil, Charles Barkley. No thanks. Well, Charles wisely suffered a muscle pull while lifting weights and had to withdraw but there was still no shortage of comic relief out on the fairways and greens of Edgewood Country Club. If this was a competition of who could butcher the golf course and cause the spirits of Snead, Hogan and Old Tom Morris to shake their heads in disbelief, there would still be contenders galore. The tournament was won by former NFL quarterback Billy Joe Tolliver by the way but that just seems to detract from the real news. Another high-profile student of the aforementioned Mr. Haney would also be in the field of 85 - the great Olympian, Michael Phelps! It's no shame to be bad at golf and no one personified that sentiment better than comedian Larry "The Cable Guy" who was a newcomer to the tournament. This would also be the first appearance at this venue for #Michael Phelps. Mr. Haney had to be on the edge of his Bark-O-Lounger as Phelps and another of his pupils, comedian Ray Romano competed in the tournament. I have a mental picture of Hank celebrating the news of Charles' weight-lifting injury but I'm sure that wasn't the case.
Moving forward, the pitched battle was tooth-and-nail as each golfer strove to out-mediocre the other. Tempers flared and numerous attempts at self-deprecation were seen during the playing of literally every hole for three interminably embarrassing days. Guys like Romano, Larry "The Cable Guy" and former SNL member Kevin Nealon had the comedic knack for playing off their bad performances. Michael Phelps, unfortunately didn't have that to fall back on. It was a disaster. A debacle...Even during the Hank Haney Show, Phelps wore his disappointment on the sleeve of his CutterBucks much more than the "disciples" who preceded him. There are worse things one can experience in life than playing horrendous golf in front of big crowds for three straight days but I'll lay odds that Michael Phelps would disagree with that right about now.
The title of the article already announced that Michael did, indeed beat Larry "The Cable Guy" for the dubious but still (weirdly) important honor of not ending up in last place. Romano fared a little better, hacking his way into a tie for 62nd place. Finishing 84th in a field of 85 isn't quite up to winning six gold medals but Phelps will take it. As for Larry "The Cable Guy," if someone proposed a wager that he also (secretly) took lessons from Hank Haney, I'd bet on that!
Keywords for this article: American Century Celebrity Golf, charles barkley, golf, Hank Haney, Larry "The Cable Guy", Michael Phelps, Kevin Nealon
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