By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports
Two weekends ago, former LSU football All-American Kyle Williams was front and center in the state’s sports spotlight as he was inducted in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
This weekend, he’s playing to a bigger audience. Williams will join his good friend and former LSU roommate Andrew Whitworth in Lake Tahoe, Nev., playing in the American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament that begins today.
Today’s first round will be carried on NBC’s Peacock Channel and NBC Sports Digital from 3-5 CT, and on GOLF Channel via tape-delay from 6:30-8:30. Saturday and Sunday, coverage will be on NBC Sports (locally KTAL-TV Channel 6) from 1:30-5.
Williams and Whitworth tuned up for Tahoe just before the LSHOF Induction Celebration, getting in a round at Louisiana’s top-ranked golf course, Squire Creek in Ruston. They were starters on LSU’s 2003 BCS national champion football team coached by Nick Saban.
Williams was the 2020 runner-up in the ACC event, leading going into the final round in his first appearance in Lake Tahoe. He plays to a zero handicap. Whitworth is listed with a 4 handicap.
The event is being billed as featuring the most celebrity-laden field in its 33-year history.
The sports and entertainment stars hitting the links along with Whitworth and Williams include Justin Timberlake; Stephen, Dell and Seth Curry; Annika Sorenstam; Patrick Mahomes; Tony Romo; Aaron Rodgers; Charles Barkley; and first-time participants Colin Jost of Saturday Night Live, WWE Superstar The Miz, and singers/songwriters Nick Jonas and Jake Owen.
Whitworth, a West Monroe native and resident who retired after his Los Angeles Rams won the Super Bowl in February, is one of a dozen rookies in the 87-person field for the 54-hole tournament.
“Whit” was named the 2021 NFL Man of the Year for his extensive charity and community work. He had four Pro Bowl appearances in his 16-year pro career, mostly in Cincinnati. At LSU, he started 52 games at left offensive tackle from 2002-05.
Williams, a Ruston native and resident, made six Pro Bowl appearances in his 13 seasons with the Buffalo Bills. A three-year starter and a 2005 All-American defensive tackle for LSU, he was elected to the LSHOF in his first year on the ballot. Whitworth will be eligible for the 2025 LSHOF class.
Among the participants this weekend are 17 members of their sports’ Hall of Fame, 13 MVP winners, multiple Cy Young and Player of the Year award winners, and several Grammy and Emmy award recipients.
Contact Doug at DougIreland@LaSportsHall.com
Photo by CHRIS REICH, LSWA