STATELINE, Nev. — Alfonso Ribiero figured out a way to visit Lake Tahoe every year and have his family support and join him on the week-long stay.
The entertainer has been part of the American Century Championship for the past 12 years and a few years ago, popped the question while here.
“I’ll tell you a little secret, about seven years ago I decided that I knew a great way to make sure that my family wanted to come up every year, and that was getting engaged here on the lake,” Ribiero said. “So my wife was, like, ‘No, we have to go to Tahoe.’ This way I can get the family to come up.
“It’s just a great experience,” he added. “I love it every year. We look forward to this. We made it a family event. We are all very blessed to have this opportunity and I certainly don’t look past it every year.”
Not only does he not look past it every year, his management knows this event is on his schedule every year and no matter what jobs come up, he’s not interested.
“I’ve actually pushed — I actually start a job on Monday because I had them push it back two weeks so that I could be here,” Ribiero said. “That’s how important it is to me. This is the granddaddy of all celebrity tournaments.”
Ribiero has been a crowd favorite with his engagement and positive outlook. He says the key is having a good time no matter if his ball finds water or the middle of the fairway.
“As long as you’re having a great time, they’ll have a great time and they won’t know the difference between a great shot or not a great shot,” Ribiero said. “They’re just happy that you’re there and that you’re having a good time.”
Ribiero, 47, who started playing golf at age 18, is not among the favorites to win the tournament, his odds from Caesars are right in the middle of the pack at 200-to-1.
His favorite part of the tournament year after year is finishing on the last two holes at Edgewood Tahoe.
“There’s nothing better than being here and coming down 17 on Saturday and Sunday,” Ribiero said. “Seeing all the boats and everybody hanging out and having fun on 17, it’s just the best.”