By Delinda Lombardo on
The PGA Tour has named four-time Grammy Award winning singer/songwriter Justin Timberlake as the 14th celebrity to ‘host’ a PGA Tour event. Renamed the ‘Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open’, the event takes place at TPC Summerlin on October 13-19, 2008, in Las Vegas, and will be televised on the Golf Channel. In addition to hosting, Timberlake will also take part in Wednesday’s Pro-Am, and hold a concert during the week of the Open.
“I couldn’t be more excited to host the upcoming 2008 Las Vegas tournament and to be involved with the Shriners Hospitals for Children,” said Timberlake. “We will make sure to make this event unique and memorable, and we will raise money for charity while participating in the greatest game ever played. I thank the PGA Tour and the Shriners Hospitals for Children for this amazing opportunity. Raising money to better children’s lives while playing golf? I can’t think of a better way to pass the time.”
The annual event in Las Vegas has taken place every year since 1983 and has raised more than $10 million for Las Vegas area charities. Previous champions include Tiger Woods, Greg Norman, Davis Love III, Paul Azinger, Jim Furyk, Curtis Strange and Fuzzy Zoeller.
“The PGA Tour is delighted to announce Justin’s involvement with our Las Vegas event,” said PGA Tour commissioner, Tin Finchem. “This promises to be an exciting and effective collaboration, one that will only raise the profile of the great work done by the Shriners Hospitals. The Tour is proud of its history of improving the lives of people in the communities in which we play, and we are confident that the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open can be a leading example of that charitable mission.”
While Timberlake joins the ranks of other celebrity ‘hosts’ – including Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, Andy Williams, Danny Thomas, Dean Martin, Ed McMahon, Frank Sinatra, Glen Campbell, and Jackie Gleason – he certainly isn’t new to the game itself. The ex-NSYNC heartthrob has already established himself as an avid golfer and is rumored to have a 6-handicap.
“Justin is a very keen golfer and he’s playing to a very high standard now,” a source close to Timberlake said in April. “His aim is to make it into a pro event, just for a tournament or two. He practices every day, has a coach and takes his clubs wherever he goes.”
Timberlake, who is a member of the exclusive Sherman Oaks Country Club in Los Angeles, took a cue from rocker/golfer Alice Cooper. “As Alice Cooper said, you can either drink all day or golf” said Timberlake.
Last year, Chris Baldwin, a senior writer for Golf Publisher Syndications, asked Timberlake if he gets nervous playing in front of the galleries at PGA events. “I get way more nervous playing golf in front of 500 people than being on stage in front of 20,000 people. I’ve been performing all my life pretty much in music. On stage, even if it’s an outdoors concert with half a million people, I’m in my element. I know what it takes to put on a good show for the fans. Out on the course, you want to hit the ball well so badly, but there are so many things you don’t have control over.”
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