March 16, 2009–Phil Mickelson admitted that he didn't think re-working his swing with Las Vegas' Butch Harmon would take as long as it did to get to a point where it felt comfortable. But following his victory at the World Golf Championships–CA Championship, Phil, who spends time at Harmon's School of Golf at Las Vegas golf course Rio Secco Golf Club, said the wait is over and great things are ahead. "I'm surprised it took this long, but I'm glad we are passed that phase where it feels awkward and now it just feels like my swing," said Mickeslon, who beat fellow Harmon golfer and Las Vegas resident Nick Watney by a single shot.
"It's taken a little longer than I thought it would for the rhythm to match up with bit of an almost shorter — faster swing," said Mickelson. "But the fundamentals of it make it easier to hit long stuff, long irons, and woods in play, as well as now farther; I've been able to pick up some speed." Mickelson battled dehydration suring the week, and said he hadn't eaten anything in three days but had enough in the tank to prevail. The win was Mickelson's second victory of the season, and pushed his money total to more than $2.7 million after his first six events and second on the money list behind Geoff Ogilvy. Mickelson has also finished in the top 10 in each of six tournaments in 2009.
Watney was also looking for his second win on the year–following up his win at the Buick at Torrey Pines–but his final putt on the 18th hole came up just short. Watney moved to Las Vegas a couple years ago to be closer to Harmon and his staff. Watney has won more than $1.9 million through his six events, good for third on the money list. "Overall, I'm very pleased with the way I played," said Watney. "Right now, it still hurts to finish second. I mean, it's disappointing to come up one shot short. But overall, it was a positive week, and I just have to keep working hard."
The featured Las Vegas golf course for this article is Wolf Creek Golf Club, located in the Las Vegas golf region city of Mesquite, Nev., located 77 miles north of Las Vegas. Wolf Creek Golf Club is an award-winning course that plays through the canyons that overlook the Virgin Valley in the mini-golf mecca of Mesquite. Click now for official Wolf Creek Golf Club information and to reserve your official Las Vegas golf region tee times at Wolf Creek Golf Club. Or you can click now to sign up and receive weekly news and deals from Las Vegas golf courses.
In other Las Vegas PGA Tour news, a look at the official scoring stats shows Las Vegas native Scott Piercy standing in second in total scoring average at 69.31, just behind David Toms at 69.26. Piercy, who is a rookie on the PGA Tour, also ranks fifth in driving average at just over 305 yards. Piercy ranks 30th on the PGA Tour money list. Piercy is one of nine PGA Tour players with strong ties to Las Vegas who are within the top 125 on the PGA Tour money list. The other players are Watney, 3; Charley Hoffman, 11; Adam Scott, 28; Bill Lunde, 63; Chad Campbell, 84; Ryan Moore, 90; Dean Wilson, 101; and Alex Cejka, 106.
There is also good news for Las Vegas resident and PGA Tour veteran Craig Barlow, who has battled injuries for much of his PGA Tour career. Barlow reports that he is feeling better. "My hip is doing great, and I am looking forward to a good year," Barlow wrote in an email. "I am doing well and going back to work on March 23 in Louisiana." Barlow has full exempt status on the Nationwide Tour in 2009 as he attempts to regain his PGA Tour status. He plays in the Nationwide Tour's Chitimacha Louisiana Open Presented by Dynamic Industries the week of March 23. Barlow has won $4.9 million in his PGA Tour career.