November 23, 2008 (UPDATED NOV 24) –Former Las Vegas resident Tommy Armour III was inducted recently into the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame, and attended the induction event at Las Vegas golf course TPC Summerlin with celeb friends Janet Jones-Gretzky and PGA Tour star Pat Perez. That's how Armour III rolls. And it's no surprise that Armour III is again enjoying huge success at the 2008 Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational–he won the title in 2007 and was five shots clear entering the final round this year–because the event has a casual, celebrity feel to it, and that's exactly where Armour III is most comfortable. Click now to read how this Las Vegas golfer won the event.
Armour III rolled to a stellar 7-under par 65 in the third round and catapulted into a five-shot lead over Rich Beem, a former PGA Championship winner. Armour III was at 14-under par. The Callaway Pebble Beach Invitational is the only stroke event where players from the LPGA Tour, PGA Tour, Nationwide Tour, and Champions Tour compete against each other in an individual format. In 2007, Armour III edge Ronnie Black and Rocco Mediate by two strokes to earn the title. And in 2008 Armour III has continued playing the stellar golf that led to his career year on the PGA Tour in 2008. The event is played over the holes of the Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill, and Del Monte golf courses.
"Everything was working today," Armour, who played at Pebble Beach in the third round, told the media following the round. "I hit 'em where you had to hit 'em on these greens. They're a little firmer than normal. And I made some putts. There's a lot of golf left and Pebble Beach is a tough golf course. You never know what the weather can bring tomorrow." Other Las Vegas golfers in the field include Charley Hoffman, who fired the day's low round of 64 at Del Monte, was in 7th; Bill Lunde, who finished 4th on the Nationwide Tour's money list and who will play the PGA full-time in 2009; LPGA Tour player and Las Vegas resident Charlotte Mayorkas; and Butch Harmon student and Las Vegas resident Nick Watney, who won this event in 2005. Lunde, Mayorkas and Watney were all at 2-over par and well off the leaders.
About the event from the official website: "Founded in 1972, the Callaway Golf Pebble Beach Invitational has long claimed a unique mantle as the world's only tournament that matches players from the PGA, the LPGA, the Champions, and Nationwide Tours in head-to-head competition for the same purse – and also matches teams of four amateurs with a different pro each day. The event's innovative tee-placement system, based on the average length of shots in each tour, makes this competition possible."
Armour III grew up on the third hole of the old Desert Inn Golf Club in Las Vegas, and played junior and high school golf in Las Vegas. In a ceremony that coincided with Las Vegas' PGA Tour event, the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, he was inducted into the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame along with PGA of America pro Jerry Roberts, high-ranking Las Vegas golf business leader Eric Dutt, and longtime amateur standout Louis Redden.
Armour III, who turned 49 in October, earned $1.5 million on the PGA Tour in 2008, and recorded five top 10 finishes including a tie for second at the Travelers Championship. He last won on the PGA Tour in 2003 at the Valero Texas Open. That win was just his second on the PGA Tour, but he has earned about $9 million during his two-decade career. Longtime friend and golf writer Jack Sheehan isn't surprised by Armour's success because, contrary to public opinion, Armour III continues to work on his game and has a passion for the sport.
"What a lot of people don't know about Tommy Armour, because it gets lost behind the carefree, party-boy reputation that follows him, is that he has a great work ethic regarding his golf game,” says Sheehan. “Tommy is always trying to improve, is always working to make his golf swing tighter and more efficient, and is never afraid to seek out instruction. He has known since he was very young that golf was his ticket to the good life he enjoys, so he treats the game with a great deal of respect. I think he'll play the PGA Tour as long as he has exemptions. It’s the only career path he ever wanted to follow.”