October 13, 2007—The PGA Tour is celebrating its 25th-straight year in Las Vegas with the playing of the FRYS.com Open Benefiting the Shriners Hospitals for Children. A lot of things have changed–new title sponsor, new charitable benfactor, new spectator areas–but one thing that hasn't changed is that too many golfers with strong Vegas ties are going home early by missing the cut, and not enough are challenging for the title. Sure, in year's past Robert Gamez and Charley Hoffman have nearly won this thing, but after 25 years no player who lives here, grew up here, or played for the UNLV golf team has won the title. And I think I speak for all of the other Las Vegas golfers in the area when we say, "Not acceptable." Nearly 10% of the field this week was made up of Las Vegas golfers, but only a handful made the cut led by longtime Las Vegas resident Bob May, who opened with a round of 63 and stood in a tie for seventh heading into the weekend. Those missing the cut with Vegas ties were Craig Barlow, Hoffman, Michael Putnam, Dean Wilson, Chris Riley, Scott Piercy, Tommy Armour III and Robert Gamez. Chad Campbell burst back into contention with a 63 in the second round after opening with a 75. LIVE SCORING.
One bright spot was that former UNLV player and journeyman Andres Gonzales, who got in the event late, made the cut after firing rounds of 68-71. The most inspirational story of the the week could be Bill Lunde, who at this time last year was selling sponsorships for this tournament and had given up his golf career. But he was let go when the Las Vegas Founders weren't retained as the host organization, and he spent this year piling up cash on the Butch Harmon Vegas Tour, where he was the player of the year and earned his spot into the FRYS.com Open. He opened with rounds of 69-68 and was in good position for a big check heading into the weekend.
The FRYS.com Open is played at Las Vegas golf courses TPC Summerlin and TPC Canyons, with only Summerlin being played on the weekend.
Alex Cejka, a Las Vegas resident for the last five years, made the cut with rounds of 68-70. Ryan Moore, a former UNLV All-American, also made the cut with rounds of 68-69.
The Las Vegas PGA Tour event needs a Vegas champion. Here's hoping Bob May can win on the weekend or Chad Campbell can back up his second-round 63 with two more great rounds to end up in the winner's circle.