November 13, 2007—The first thing you notice as you walk up to the driving range of the Jack Nicklaus-designed Reflection Bay Golf Club, one of three Las Vegas golf courses at Lake Las Vegas Resort, is the giant, inflatable Wendy’s Frosty that is planted at about 100 yards in the landing area. Then you watch as the PGA Tour’s Chris DiMarco warms up while trying to bounce his Titleist golf balls off of it. DiMarco is flanked by Champions Tour players Jay Haas and Fred Funk, while down the range are LPGA Tour players Morgan Pressel and Natalie Gulbis (a Lake Las Vegas resident). Already finished warming up are PGA Tour players Camillo Villegas and Bubba Watson, and Champions Tour star Nick Price. The LPGA Tour’s Christie Kerr joins the group a little bit later. All were at Lake Las Vegas Resort for a couple days of competitive golf and fun during the Wendy’s Three-Tour Challenge, but also to raise large dollars and awareness for the Dave Thomas (Wendy’s founder) Foundation for Adoption. They participated in a pro-am on Monday as did other Tour players Kirk Triplett, Lake Las Vegas Resort player Craig Barlow, Andy North and Amy Alcott. The official event, pitting the three-player teams against each other, was played today. We won’t ruin the surprise of the results because you can catch all of the action December 22-23 on ABC.
“This event is a lot of fun if we don’t have to grind too much,” DiMarco said in between practice swings in preparation for his inaugural appearance in the Wendy’s Three-Tour Challenge. He was sporting a golf bag flaunting a Florida Gator logo and national championship emblem in honor of the football and basketball NCAA champions of recent years. He also mentioned to Kerr that he saw Le Reve at Wynn Las Vegas while in town, and enjoyed the show.
Visit the official Lake Las Vegas Resort golf course website for Las Vegas golf tee times or Las Vegas golf packages.
Other Las Vegas golf courses at Lake Las Vegas Resort are Tom Weiskopf's The Falls Golf Club and Jack Nicklaus' private SouthShore Golf Club. Another new Las Vegas golf course, Tom Fazio's Rainbow Canyon, is currently under construction at Lake Las Vegas Resort.
ABC commentator Judy Rankin who has covered several Wendy’s Three-Tour Challenge events was in town again, and kept a watchful eye over the players in preparation for her on-course reporting duties.
“I think it will be fun, but a little bit of the fun is taken out of it because it isn’t a best-ball format,” Rankin said while strolling to the first tee of Reflection Bay. “And I do think that each tour is here to win because that is just the competitive nature of the golfer. And I think that there is a feeling that you don’t want to let your fellow teammate down so the players will be working hard.”
The PGA Tour leads the overall history of the Wendy’s Three-Tour Challenge with seven wins followed by the Champions Tour with five wins and the LPGA Tour with three wins.
As Funk left the driving range for a putting session, he strolled past teammate Haas and said, “Play good, Jay Bird.” Haas looked up with a nod and smile, then got right back to the business of warming up. For one day in Las Vegas, fun and competition were uniquely paired together.
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption
The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption is a non-profit 501(c)(3) public charity dedicated to increasing the adoptions of the more than 150,000 children in North America’s foster care system. Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s® Old Fashioned Hamburgers, created the Foundation in 1992 in support of the vision that every child deserves a permanent home and a loving family. The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption focuses on increasing foster care adoption awareness while supporting model adoption service programs.