Image August 2, 2007–This year marks the 25th for the PGA Tour’s Las Vegas event, the Open benefiting Shriners Hospital for Children. After more than a decade away from the city, the PGA Tour returned in 1983 for the inaugural playing of the Panasonic Las Vegas Pro Celebrity Classic that was won by Fuzzy Zoeller. When it debuted, the total purse of more than $1 million marked the first time a PGA Tour event had been played for that much money. Golf’s biggest names have won here over the last 25 years including Greg Norman (1986), Paul Azinger (1987), Curtis Strange (1985), Davis Love III (1993) and Jim Furyk (95, 98, 99), and, of course, Tiger Woods (1996). And tournament organizers want you to get involved either as a fan or volunteer for the tournament.


That win by Tiger Woods was his first as a professional, and marked a new dawn for professional golf. Without a doubt, Love III said after losing to Woods in the playoff, there was a new man to beat on the PGA Tour.

And when the tournament tees off this October 11-14 at top Las Vegas golf courses TPC Canyons and TPC Summerlin, it will mark a new dawn for professional golf in Las Vegas as the event has a new organizational committee, headlined by Butch Harmon, and a new major charitable benefactor. The event is now called the Open benefiting Shriners Hospital for Children, and other committee members include other Las Vegas golf business people Eric Dutt, Dan Wade, Rossi Ralenkotter, Cliff Findlay, Don Logan, and tournament chairman Gary Davis, among others.

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The new group and charity take over for the Las Vegas Founders who helped the event raise more than $15 million for Las Vegas charities over the last 24 years.

Tournament organizers say that this year’s event will be infused with new excitement and fan interaction, with a goal of making the tournament a “happening” as much as a golf tournament. Some of the events in the planning stages include the creation of “The Hill”, an area where all spectators can gain VIP access to eat and drink concoctions from some of the best restaurants in Las Vegas, and also view the action on the exciting 16th, 17th and 18th holes. “The Hill” is designed to become the tournament’s new focal/action point.

Plus, there are many incentives for volunteers to become involved in the event from discount playing privileges for the months of December and January at TPC Canyons, a 30-minute lesson from PGA Tour Golf Academy, and the chance to win prizes from a pool of great items that could total more than $200,000 when everything is said and done. And for every shift a volunteer works they will be entered into a drawing for a chance at the million-dollar hole-in-one prize. Click here  for volunteer information and provide your name and contact information.

Other high-level events in the planning stages include parties and a special PGA Tour wives fashion show that will benefit a local charity that is scheduled for the Thursday of tournament week.

The PGA Tour is also reaching out to the military in Southern Nevada, and are offering free admission to all active service military and will be setting up stations where golf fans can reach out that thank the military.

As always, children under 12 will be free when accompanied by an adult.

The format for the event remains unchanged with a cut after 36 holes, and amateurs playing with the professionals for the first 36 holes of the tournament at each of the two golf courses. The weekend is only played at TPC Summerlin.

For more than 85 years, Shriners Hospitals has provided expert medical care to more than 835,000 children worldwide, at no charge. Shriners Hospitals for Children is a network of 22 hospitals in the United States, Canada and Mexico dedicated to providing specialized pediatric care, innovative medical research and outstanding medical teaching programs. Children up to age 18 with orthopaedic conditions, burn injuries of all degrees, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for admission and receive care at no charge – regardless of financial need or relationship to a Shriner. Shriners Hospitals for Children depends on the generosity of many individuals and organizations for the funding needed to continue our mission of providing specialized pediatric services.

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