Now that the Open Championship has come to an end, there has been a lot of buzz around the historic prize money offered to its winner: Zach Johnson. The wind may have temporarily delayed play during the tournament, but that didn’t stop Johnson from going on to win having beat Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman after the three were tied on 15-under-par in a four-hole play-off. Speaking to the press after winning the tournament, Johnson said: “I feel blessed to be the champion. I feel honoured to be part of the history of this game. Humbling and surreal are two words that come to my mind.”
Michael Jordan was in his element, chewing on a cigar and hanging out with his celebrity pals on the stunning Shadow Creek golf course for the 11th Annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational (MJCI). I was parked next the tee box on the 18th hole to get some photos as MJ and his entourage pulled up in their carts with music in the background. Everyone at the tournament was having a great time, but Jordan was top dog as usual.
I was in my element as well, enjoying a blowout weekend at the Aria Resort & Casino and hanging out on a beautiful day in the desert as I nursed a hangover from the previous night’s debauchery. As you can see from the slideshow above I had a great view as celebrities from Brandi Chastain, Aaron Rodgers, John Smoltz, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Roger Clemens blasted drives from the 18th tee. A good time was being had by all and the celebs happily mingled with the fans near the tee box.
Brandi Chastain and John Smoltz were in the lead following Saturday’s first round of the celeb-only scramble after shooting a six-under par 66. Hall of Fame broadcaster Ahmad Rashad, and teammate and former baseball all-star Roger Clemens, were two strokes back at 4-under. Clemons hit a monster drive on 18. The two-person, 36-hole celebrity-only scramble continues today with winners to be announced at 3 p.m. The winning celebs each will take home $20,000 for their designated charities. It would have been fun to bet a celebrity tournament link this at a site like bwin.
The course at Shadow Creek was simply stunning, and it has to be on your list if you’re a golfer heading to Las Vegas. It’s amazing to pull up to this oasis in the middle of the Nevada desert. With the mountains in the background as you can see from the photo above, the beauty of this course ranks up there with some of the best I’ve seen.
Check back later this week for more details from my stay at Aria, where the restaurants, nightlife and amenities give you everything you’ll need for a Vegas getaway with your gal or your friends.
Tags: Aaron Rodgers, Ahmad Rashad, golf, golf tournament, James R. Jordan Foundation, John Smoltz, Ken Griffey Jr, Las Vegas, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Michael Jordan, Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational, Michael Jordan golf, MJCI, Roger Clemens, UC San Diego Nevada Cancer Institute, Wayne Gretzky
We’ll use any excuse to hit Las Vegas, but covering the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational (MJCI) definitely qualifies as a trip we’re excited about. This 11th annual charity golf tournament will feature stars like NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers along with Ken Griffey, Jr., Wayne Gretzky, Roger Clemens, Brian Baumgartner, Brett Hull, Maury Povich and Chris Chelios. I’ll be reporting through the weekend here on the blog and you can also follow us on Twitter for photos and updates. I’ll also be staying at the incredible Aria Resort & Casino so this is shaping up to be a great weekend!
It’s also for a number of great causes, as this is a charity golf tournament. Proceeds from the charitable tournament will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, UC San Diego Nevada Cancer Institute, James R. Jordan Foundation, Opportunity Village and Cats Care, the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats’ charity arm. Since its inception in 2001, MJCI has raised more than $6 million for charity.
The tournament is being held at the incredible Shadow Creek golf course, which is opening to the public for only the second time with this tournament. I’m looking forward to getting some great photos.
Tickets may be purchased at any MGM Resorts International box office outlet or online through the links above:
Daily General Admission Pass $30/Thursday-Sunday
Weekly General Admission Pass $100/Thursday-Sunday
Daily VIP Pass $150/Thursday-Sunday
Weekly VIP Pass $500/Thursday-Sunday
VIP spectators will enjoy access to an unparalleled view of the course from the M life VIP tent, an openair venue featuring a “VIP Party Deck” overlooking the par-5, 18th hole, catering and a full-service bar. Discounted tickets are available for military service members with valid identification, and Senior Citizens 65 years of age or older with valid ID; both groups will receive 25 percent off a daily or weekly general admission ticket. Additionally, the tournament has created a special “Bring the Kids for Free” general admission ticket offer, which provides access to Shadow Creek for youth 16 years of age and younger when accompanied by a general admission ticketed adult (up to two children per paid adult).
With the golf tournament with MJ and then the Final Four semi-finals on Saturday night, this should shape us as quite a weekend. I also get to enjoy all the amenities at the Aria and will also see the Cirque du Soleil Viva ELVIS show which should be incredible. I saw the Love show featuring music from The Beatles last year so I’m definitely looking forward to this Elvis show!
Tags: Aaron Rodgers, Brett Hull, Brian Baumgartner, Chris Chelios, Cirque du Soleil, golf, golf tournament, James R. Jordan Foundation, Ken Griffey Jr, Las Vegas, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Maury Povich, Michael Jordan, Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational, Michael Jordan golf, MJCI, Roger Clemens, UC San Diego Nevada Cancer Institute, Viva ELVIS, Wayne Gretzky