There’s a chance maybe people, people like pro-golfer Phil Mickelson who has won five major championship titles a professional in the sport, might take issue with that statement. Then again 2017 was Mulder’s third straight victory at the world’s premiere celebrity golf tournament, the American Century Championship.Mark Mulder was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 1998 and was fast-tracked to the majors, making his MLB debut and exceeding his rookie limits during the 2000 season. In 2001 Mulder led the league in wins with 21 but ultimately finished second in the Cy Young Award voting to 2001 winner Roger Clemens.
As All-Star for the A’s in 2003 and 2004, Mulder was one of the most efficient pitchers of his time. He led the league twice in complete games and once in complete game shutouts.
After being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in December of 2005, Mulder began having shoulder issues that led to rotator cuff surgery and ultimately early retirement in 2008 at the age of just 30.
Mulder attempted a MLB comeback in 2014 when he signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels that included an invite to spring training. Things were going well for Mulder but he tore his ACL during spring workouts and the necessary surgery effectively ended his comeback attempt.
Between 2008 and 2014, Mulder was an television analyst for ESPN and he currently does an excellent job broadcasting games for the Oakland Athletics. He spends extra time playing golf (of course) and spending time with his wife Lindsey and their three children.
It was an unprecedented win for the 39-year-old Mulder who is the first ever participant in the 28-year history of the tournament to win it three straight years.
Of course, there are others who have won the tournament on more than one occasion, even back-to-back, but never back-to-back-to-back years.
Another former MLB pitcher, Rick Rhoden, who played in the major leagues from 1974-1989 spending stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees and Houston Astros is the all-time wins leader in the American Century Championship, having won the tournament eight different times.
The current head coach of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons, Dan Quinn, is second all-time with five wins and Former NFL Player Billy Joe Tolliver who played in both the NFL and the Canadian Football League, is tied with Mulder each with three wins.
Actor Jack Wagner, who has played in the tournament each year since its inception is the only other participant with more than one win. He’s still playing but appears to be stuck at just two tournament wins.
The American Century Championship takes place each summer at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course on the Nevada side of South Lake Tahoe. The tournament benefits the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, a non-profit research organization that is dedicated to find cures for cancer and other, thus-far, incurable diseases.
The tournament has a $600,000 purse with $125,000 going to the winner. Quite a few other non-profits in the Lake Tahoe area are also benefitted by the tournament which has raised millions of dollars over it’s now 28-year-history.
The tournament is a 54-hole, modified Stableford format. The players are given points for different accomplishments such as a birdie, eagle or hitting par. The participant with the most points wins. Monetary prizes are given out to the top five highest point getters and an award called the Closest to the Pin Award (it’s name explains it pretty well) is also given out.
With it’s 28th year now in the books and an unprecedented new record now set by Mulder, I’ll bet you are wondering what other big names were at this year’s tournament.
The biggest names included the Golden State Warriors Steph Curry, former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo and entertainment triple-threat Justin Timberlake. The three were paired together on the opening day of the event.
Others names included Dallas Cowboys Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, MLB Hall of Famers Greg Maddux and John Smoltz along with a number of other retired athletes, including NFL Hall of Famers John Elway and Tim Brown, and if you watch MLB Network you already could’ve guessed that Kevin Millar of the 2004 “Curse Breaking” Boston Red Sox was there as usual. For a full list of celebrities and celebrity pairings click here.
This year’s top prizes went to the three-peat wonder Mark Mulder (73 points), another former MLB pitcher Derek Lowe(62 points), former pro-tennis player Mardy Fish (62 points), Curry (60 points) and former player for the NHL Jeremy Roenick (55).
Can Mulder four-peat in 2018? Find out next summer by coming out to South Lake Tahoe and watching for yourself!