November 21, 2007–The 2008 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open is about 11 months away, but for the first time in a long time, the Las Vegas PGA Tour event played at Las Vegas golf course TPC Summerlin (pictured) is drawing coverage months in advance. And the stories are coming from all angles, due solely to the agreement between Timberlake–arguably the world's biggest star under the age of 30–and the PGA Tour for the music mogul to become the celebrity host of the 26th-straight year of PGA Tour golf in Las Vegas. The agreement between the Shriners, PGA Tour and Timberlake runs through 2012, and the coverage has come from traditional golf media outlets, but the entertainment giants have jumped on for this one. People, eonline, worldofjustin.com, gossipworld.com, starpulse.com and many others are covering the story and most likely will have major presence in Las Vegas during tournament week next October. One thing is for sure, tournament week next year will be high on style and glitz, and now the only question is whether the golf played by the PGA Tour players can match the hype.
And the most enjoyable part of watching how the story is unfolding is seeing how the media has worked golf terms into its coverage of this molding of entertainment and golf.
"Justin Timberlake has signed up for a little fore play," wrote Natalie Finn on EOnline.com.
"Justin Timberlake's event might bring sexy back," wrote Eric Soderstrom on Golfweek.com. He went on to spoof what we might see next year in the event.
And locally, old school Las Vegas Sun columnist and new school Las Vegas Sun writer Mike Trask debated whether the Timberlake/PGA Tour partnership could "breathe new life into a moribund golf tourmament."
"Young man, because I am old enough to be your dad and to have a record collection that actually consists of them, I need somebody who collects MP4s to tell me why Justin Timberland – er, lake – is going to be the savior of our PGA tour stop, now that he has added his name to all the others on the trophy. Is he your generation's Bing Crosby? I thought it was that Kanye West dude," wrote Kantowski.
"Bing Crosby … isn't he the guy who fathered Melissa Etheridge's baby? Oh, never mind, that was David Crosby, or so says Wikipedia. I don't have time to explain it to you, old timer. If Bing Crosby was the most famous pop star of his generation, then, yes, he was like Justin Timberlake. People know who he is, which is more than can be said for George McNeill, D.J. Trahan and Cameron Beckman, who were the top three finishers last month," countered Trask.