May 28, 2008–Las Vegas golf courses are continually the sites for major Las Vegas charity golf tournaments, and there's no telling how much money has been raised by these many Las Vegas golf events. From Tiger Jam to Danny Gans' Partee Fore Kids to the PGA Tour's Justin Timberlake Shriners Hopsitals for Children Open and many, many more, Las Vegas golf courses are the place to be to raise big money for char-i-tee. And UNLV head basketball coach and former Atlanta Hawks head coach Lon Kruger has been busy this off season raising dollars for various causes including the Nevada Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society, and for UNLV's upcoming exhibition trip to Australia. In total, Kruger helped net $152,000 for the cancer cause, and $72,000 for his program in two separate events played at Las Vegas golf courses Southern Highlands Golf Club (pictured), TPC Summerlin and Spanish Trail Golf and Country Club.
The Coaches vs. Cancer Las Vegas Golf Classic was played over two days at Southern Highlands and TPC Summerlin, while the Lon Kruger Open “Going Down Under” Charity Golf Tournament was played at Spanish Trail Golf and Country Club. All three Las Vegas golf courses are current or past hosts of Las Vegas' PGA Tour event, this year played exclusively at TPC Summerlin, a PGA Tour-owned golf course, and sister Las Vegas golf course to TPC Las Vegas, a former host of the PGA Tour and Champions Tour.
At the Spanish Trail awards ceremony, Coach Kruger was presented with an honorary membership to Spanish Trail Golf and Country Club by Mike Ford, President of Spanish Trail’s Board of Directors.
"The people at Spanish Trail Golf and Country Club were absolutely terrific," says Kruger, a single-digit handicap. "They stepped forward financially in a big way in support of this learning opportunity and cultural experience for our basketball team. Our players and program will benefit greatly."
On the upcoming trip, the Rebels will play primarily against Aussie club teams from June 23 to July 5. Plus, they will have the opportunity to practice for 10 days before the trip.
At the Cancer tournament, several other NCAA coaches participated included Tim Floyd (University of Southern California), Mark Fox (University of Nevada-Reno), Jim Boylen (University of Utah), Norm Stewart (retired coach from University of Missouri), Frank Martin (Kansas State University), Mark Turgeon (Texas A&M), Bobby Lutz (University of North Carolina-Charlotte), Dana Altman (Creighton University), Bill Grier (University of San Diego), Tim Jankovich (Illinois State University), and Bob Boyd (retired coach from University of Southern California).
Those coaches mixed and mingled following golf at the notorious Hardwood Suite at the Palms Resort and Casino where UNLV coaching icons Jerry Tarkanian and Charlie Spoonhour joined in the celebration. The UNLV cheer squad entertained the crowd while guests bid on authentic silent auction items and showcased their talent in a quick pick-up game on the suite’s infamous basketball court.
Las Vegas locals Cliff Findlay, Rob Martinez, Mike Lynch and Bill Russell were the tournament winners and took home the first-place prize of sterling silver putters from Tiffany & Co. Missouri coaching legend Norm Stewart’s team took the second place spot followed by University of North Carolina–Charlotte’s Coach Bobby Lutz’s foursome coming in at third.