August 26, 2008–The Nationwide Tour is quickly becoming the proving grounds for several Las Vegas golfers. In the last month or so, three Nationwide Tour events have been won by golfers who live in Las Vegas, one by former UNLV golf All-American Bill Lunde, and two–with his win over the weekend at the Northeast Pennsylvania Classic–for Scott Piercy (pictured) who grew up in Las Vegas before attending San Diego State University. And several other Las Vegas golfers were in the hunt in Pennsylvania including resident Jeff Gallagher, who finished in a tie for fourth with Rich Barcelo, who played at the University of Nevada, Reno, but reportedly now lives in Las Vegas. Piercy won for the second time in three weeks–with a tie for 6th in between–and is white-hot after making a change to his strategy. "It's been amazing," Piercy told the media following the round. "I felt it's been coming, even when I was 123 on the money list. I tweaked a couple of things, which is mainly taking the bogeys out. The last three weeks I've been taking the bogeys out of play. When you do that, along with making a lot of birdies, you've got a chance at winning." The golfers play and practice at some of the best Las Vegas golf courses including TPC Las Vegas, Southern Highlands, TPC Summerlin, Lake Las Vegas Resort, and many more.
Besides those finishing well this past weekend, there are other Las Vegas golfers who rank highly on the overall money list including resident Bob May (30th) and former UNLV player Skip Kendall (38th). They both are in striking distance of finishing within the Top 25 players who earn full playing privileges on the 2009 PGA Tour.
The other Las Vegas golfers on the money list are residents Lunde (4th), Piercy (12th), Alex Prugh (54th), Michael Putnam (58th), Barcelo (69th), Gallagher (84th), and former UNLV All-Americans Chris Riley (123rd) and Jeremy Anderson (134th). Anderson still lives in Las Vegas while Riley has moved back to San Diego.
Piercy fired a final-round 64 to overtake Cameron Percy and Brendon De Jonge. He was 13-under par for the event that was played at Elmhurst Country Club in Moscow, PA. Piercy ranks third on the tour in scoring average at 69.8, and is also highly ranked in birdie average (4.18, 3rd), driving distance (304.1, 9th) and putting average (1.754, 10th).
Editor's note: There are at least 25 golfers with strong ties to Las Vegas that are playing on the PGA Tour, Nationwide Tour, Champions Tour, and LPGA Tour, and tracking the movements of each is a challenge. It seems with each passing week another player moves to Las Vegas, or sometimes one moves away. If you know of any tour players living in the Las Vegas area that we haven't featured, please send us an email at email@example.com so we can follow their exploits. Thank you for reading … Brian Hurlburt, Founding Editor.