August 11, 2008–The depth of talent in Las Vegas of those golfers playing professional golf just keeps getting deeper and deeper. A couple weeks ago, Bill Lunde, whose career seemed over at about this time last year, won a Nationwide Tour event, and in the process almost clinched his exempt status on the PGA Tour for 2009. And now Scott Piercy, a 29-year old pro whose biggest success before this time last season (he won the Ultimate Game at Wynn) came on the Hooters Tour, has cashed the champion's check, winning the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open by two shots. Piercy collected about $94,000 for the win and jumped from 123rd on the money list to 35th, just 10 spots from the coveted Top 25 that ensures full PGA Tour playing priviliges for the following season. The Ultimate Game win was worth $2 million (half of the purse went to Piercy; the other half to his investors), but this win could be the true Ultimate victory. "It could be worth more than (the Ultimate Game win)," Piercy said following the round. "Getting my TOUR card is worth a lot more than $2 million. Hopefully, I'm on my way." Many of the golfers with Las Vegas ties play and practice at some of the best Las Vegas golf courses.
Piercy grew up in Las Vegas, and helped lead Bonanza High School to two state championships. He is a member of the Summerlin Junior Golf Academy Hall of Fame that is headed by Las Vegas pro Tom Carlson, a longtime teacher of Piercy. Piercy also attended San Diego State University and was a two-time champion and helped lead the Aztecs to the 1999 NCAA Finals. He also received the Leon G. Baron Award in 1999-00 when he led the team with a 72.55 stroke average for the season.
Piercy fired rounds of 64-62-65 in the first three rounds before settling for a 71 in the final round. But it was good enough to hold off several players, and Piercy made big birdies down the stretch to hold off a challenge from Spencer Levin who fired a final-round 67. Levin made a long birdie on the 17th hole to cut the lead, but then Piercy knocked in a long birdie of his own just moments later.
"Spencer made that putt — a bomb — it was a huge putt for him," said Piercy. "For me to make it on top of him — it takes all the wind from his sails. To make that at that time you can't ask for anything more."
Fellow Las Vegas golfers also made the cut: Bob May, T8; Alex Prugh, T37; Jeremy Anderson, T43.
Several Las Vegas golfers are in the top 36 on the Nationwide Tour money list. Lunde, 3. May, 29. Piercy, 35. Skip Kendall, 36.
Photo and quotes courtesy: PGATOUR.com