Johnson-Lachey charity golf event to coincide with Super Bowl

12/20/2007 - NASCAR

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The last time Jimmie Johnson climbed on
top of a golf cart was disastrous -- he fell off, broke his wrist
and was embarrassed by the controversy the stunt caused.

But for charity, the NASCAR champion might be persuaded to climb
on top of one again.

Johnson and good friend Nick Lachey told The Associated Press on
Thursday they had partnered to form the Super Skins Celebrity Golf
Classic, which will be held in Scottsdale, Ariz., in conjunction
with the Super Bowl.

Johnson, who was horsing around on top of a cart when he fell
last December during Mike Hampton's celebrity tournament, didn't
rule it out.

"I might be talked into such a thing, if I can get some
bindings to hold me on and make sure I won't fall off," he joked.
"It is for charity, after all."

"We're going to play chicken on top of the golf carts," Lachey
quickly chimed in.

Johnson, the two-time defending Sprint Cup champion, had been
trying for some time to organize an event with pop singer Lachey.
The two have been friends for years, and Lachey is a frequent guest
at NASCAR races.

They usually attend the Super Bowl together, and decided it was
a perfect venue for their first charitable event.

The event will start with an exclusive party at Scottsdale
nightclub Axis Radius, and the tournament will follow on Feb. 2. Lachey and Johnson each have pledged $125,000 to the
purse, which has already reached $400,000 through outside

The two hope to fatten the purse through an eBay auction that
allows fans to bid on a chance to play the event with either
Johnson or Lachey.

Each hole will be worth $20,000, and the winning team will
designate the earnings to the charity of their choice.

"If we can actually win a skin, we can donate the money to our
personal foundations, but I am not counting on that happening,"
Lachey said. "We really wanted to give people a chance to raise
some money for their charities and mostly to have some fun. We've
been to a bunch of Super Bowls and go to so many events, we said
'Why don't we just do something ourselves?'

"We've been very happy with the response, and we think people
are going to have a good time and want to come back again."

The two have a three-year commitment for the tournament from
Prime Cuts Production, and plan to hold it in conjunction with the
next three Super Bowls. They said they have participation
commitments from celebrities from their respective arenas, but
declined to reveal the players.

The event will cap a busy winter for both stars. Lachey finishes
up NBC's "Clash of the Choirs" this week, and Johnson just
returned from the Race of Champions in London.