June 9, 2007–Scott Piercy stood on the 18th tee knowing that he only needed two more good shots and he woould become a millionaire. The 18th hole at Wynn Las Vegas is a par 4, with water down the entire left side. Despite horribly pulling his second shot, it still landed on the green. And then, as the Strip hotels glistened to life in the background, Piercy drained the final par putt, after firing a five-under par 31 on the treacherous back nine of the WYNN Las Vegas Golf and Country Club, and claimed the biggest first prize in all of golf: $2 million at the Ultimate Game at Wynn Las Vegas.
"I hit it basically perfect for two days, and the last five holes the putter came around," Piercy said immediately following the round while the waterfall behind the 18th green at the Tom Fazio-designed course flowed. "I just stayed patient and hoped they started falling, and they did." And then Piercy hugged and kissed his wife, Sara, and son, Cole.
Ken Jarner, another Las Vegas resident and full-time caddie at the Wynn, battled Piercy the entire round, but couldn't overcome the final barrage by Piercy. Jarner birdied four holes in a row (9-12), and had a three-shot lead over Piercy heading to the 13th tee. Jarner played the final six holes in two over par, and that sealed his fate. He admitted pressure played a big role towards the end of the event.
"The pressure is there," Jarner said. "You try to deal with it the best you can. If (I) were out there in it more, it might not affect (me) as much.
"But I'm not a touring pro, and I didn't expect to win this. He's (Piercy) played in PGA tournaments. If he doesn't win, it's an embarassment to him. … I don't take anything away from Scott. He played great, and he came down the home stretch and won it for himself."
Jarner had collected $100,000 by getting into the final 12, but didn't earn any more money because the last round was winner take all.
On Piercy's bag was Keith Flatt, a longtime Las Vegas golf pro, and he said the two had a game plan entering the final round. "Before the day started we said that 64 was the number that we wanted, but Ken was playing good so we decided to not pay attention to him and paid attention to our number," said Flatt, whose wife is the Director of Sales at Wynn. "Scott is one of those guys who doesn't play as well on the Hooters tour as he does on the PGA Tour. The more pressure the better for Scott, but if you put two million dollars up, you get his attention."
With the win and the two million, Piercy also received a sponsor's exemption into the Nationwide Tour's Pete Dye Classic. Piercy was almost as excited–maybe as excited–about that as he was about the big cash.
"I can possibly parlay that exemption into a PGA Tour card, so that is huge," Piercy said.
WYNN Las Vegas owner Steve Wynn was pleased with the tournament, and says the reason he wanted to hold the event was because television producer Terry Jastrow convinced him to do it. Wynn didn't care about the television exposure, but he was enthralled with giving "every day" guys the chance to win big money, and to see if they could withstand the pressure.
"Jastrow said, 'it'll be about guts and raw skill, and we'll see if these guys can handle the sunday afternoon pressure', and that really got me going," Wynn said on the 18th green. "You know, there were three guys on tour that most people would say could play for money. Lanny Wadkins, Raymond Floyd and Lee Trevino. Most people would say that they could maybe beat Nicklaus if they were playing for their own money. They just had this kind of ice, and the more money at stake, the better they liked it."
There were many friends and family of both Jarner and Piercy following play including Piercy's coach, Carlson, his good friend Darren Woolard, and Piercy's wife and two kids. Plus, Bob Kahan, the leader of the syndicate that put up the $50,000 entry fee for Piercy. The group and Piercy now split the two million dollars, 50/50.
And June 8, the day of the victory, was Piercy's five-year wedding anniversary. The gift just got bigger.