When it comes to an act, The Miz doesn’t often get out of character.
The Miz, a WWE pro wrestler, will combine the sport’s showmanship with the usually more staid environment of the golf course.
But the celebrity golf tournament at Edgewood Tahoe isn’t known for being quiet or stuffy. It’s often a noisy affair, fueled by at least a little alcohol and a party atmosphere along the beaches and fairways.
The American Century Championship Celebrity Golf Tournament will be held July 6-10 in Edgewood Tahoe.
The only time Miz, whose first name is Michael Mizanin, gets a little quieter, at least at media day on Wednesday, is when he talks about his two young daughters, aged 4 and 2 1/2. He also recalls that some of his fondest memories are of playing golf with his father in Cleveland.
They went golfing every Sunday.
“Some of those are the best times I can remember with my dad and that’s what I want to raise my girls with,” Miz said.
This will be his first time at the ACC. And he’s confident to a degree, guarantees he’ll win, and then turns to Charles Barkley for advice.
Miz has a 1,000-1 odds of winning compared to favorite Tony Romo at 7-2 and defending champion Vinny Del Negro at 11-1.
Barkley, who is 7,500-1 to win, told Miz to just have fun.
“This is going to be the most fun week of your life. Everyone’s great,” Barkley said. “We used to have some donkeys, they thought it was Game 7, thought they were going to WrestleMania. And the other guys are just there to have fun and we kicked them out of the tournament. So just come and have fun. It’s going to be a great week. The weather is always perfect. But just come and have fun.”
Miz asked if Barkley ever considered winning the ACC.
“No, I’ve never been this drunk, Miz. I’ve never been,” Barkley said.
Miz responded that despite a terrible round on Wednesday, he still believes he can win the ACC.
“There’s something wrong with me in my head when I literally think I can win this whole tournament. No doubt in my head. Even though I played like crap out there today,” said Miz.
Missed shots sometimes hit spectators in tournaments, and Barkley said it was sobering for the golfer.
“I tell people it’s all fun and games until you meet the first person. And then you can hardly take the bat back,” he said. “You tremble so much when you’re standing over the ball that you’re like, ‘I’m going to hit that ball 10 yards because I don’t want to hit anyone hard again.’ But it’s stressful. It’s very stressful.”
Miz flew from New York to Lake Tahoe around midnight on Tuesday, slept 6 hours and then on Wednesday at 7:04 am was the first golfer on course for a practice round.
He admitted it wasn’t a great round but was thrilled to hole out from the bunker onto the par 3 #1 hole to score a birdie two there.
It was his first time at Lake Tahoe, but he watched the tournament on TV.
He said the field has a mix of competitors, people who can actually win it, and celebrities who are just there to have fun and entertain the crowds.
He falls into both categories.
“I feel like a contender and I’ll definitely be entertained,” he said.
He often plays golf while traveling across the country for his WWE shows. There’s a WWE Smackdown show in Reno that he won’t be attending because it’s on the last day of the ACC, July 10th.
“Whenever we’re out, I try to find a golf course. I’ll bring my racquets,” he said.
He said playing golf helps him relax his brain and puts him in a good state of mind.
He looks forward to playing the rowdy 17th hole during the tournament.
“I’m planning a hole-in-one. You can write that down,” he says.
He also looks forward to trash-talking and exchanging barbs with his competitors during the ACC.
“It’s always rubbish, are you kidding me? That’s all I do I’m just talking, my gums just go,” he said, only exaggerating slightly.
He’s been with WWE for 18 years and said performing in front of those crowds should help his nerve at Edgewood.
“Every time I go out I get nervous, but that’s where my adrenaline comes in,” he said. “I feed on nerves.”
He’s proud to boast that WWE doesn’t have an offseason and he’s on stage year-round, while pointing out that every other sport has an offseason.
On the Sunday before the ACC, July 3rd, he will be in Las Vegas for the Money In The Bank show.
His wife, Maryse, is also in entertainment and they rented a house for ACC week to take their daughters to Lake Tahoe.
Tickets are $30 Wednesday-Thursday; $40 Friday Sunday the week of the tournament and available online here.
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More about The Miz
He was a contestant on MTV’s reality show The Real World: Back to New York.
Mizanin found tag team success alongside John Morrison early in his career, then broke out to win the 2010 Money in the Ladder match. Four months later he defeated Randy Orton to become the WWE Champion.
Mizanin has won the WWE Championship twice, the Intercontinental Championship eight times, the US Championship twice, and eight tag team titles. In addition to his professional wrestling career, Mizanin has acted in numerous films and television shows on both big and small screens, including The Campaign and The Marine 3: Homefront.
He also starred in his own primetime reality show, Miz and Mrs, alongside his wife Maryse and two daughters.
Jim Krajewski covers high school and youth sports for the Reno Gazette Journal. Follow him on Twitter @RGJPreps. Support his work by subscribing to RGJ.com.