July 16, 2009–The stories are continual for those with strong ties to Las Vegas golf who are a part of the biggest stories in golf. And some of the time, it's not the biggest Las Vegas golf names who make news (ie Butch Harmon, Adam Scott, Natalie Gulbis, etc.) but the volunteers behind the scenes. Last week, Women's Southern Nevada Golf Association president Sherry Corsello was a volunteer at the U.S. Women's Open, and spent the week helping the on-course camera operator film the leaders. Also this week, several golfers with ties to Las Vegas golf courses are teeing it up at the Open Championship including one who might end his slump. LIVE SCORING.
Corsello has attended several Open events, and was sitting greenside and in the fairways as the most important shots of the tournament took place. She was even shown in the background of a photo on the home page of LPGA.com showing Eun-Hee Ji making her tournament-clinching birdie putt on the 72nd hole. Last year, Corsello was arguably the first Las Vegas golfer to congratulate fellow Las Vegas golfer Inbee Park on her win. She also snapped a photo during the post-round celebration that we ran here at Golf Las Vegas Now. During this year's event, Corsello, who helps the camera operator navigate the course and crowds, emailed random thoughts from the event including immediately following the event.
"What an exciting day! We were with the Christie Kerr/Ji group. The weather was perfect and the golf was exciting. We couldn't have asked for a better crowd. Many helped us get the tripod under the ropes and through the masses. Everyone cheered for all players and groaned for the missed putts. No yelling "in the hole" or you da (wo)man. Kerr was gracious when Ji sunk her birdie putt on 18 and waited for the crowd to settle down which they did very quickly. After making her par putt to end the tournament she warmly hugged Ji. I was on tripod duty and sitting right next to the cameraman directly behind Ji when she putted. It was such a thrill to watch the putt curl around and drop in the hole. It was a spectacular finish to a spectacular day."
Corsello also commented before play began about what the players were saying about the course. Corsello agreed that it would play long and be a stiff challenge. Corsello also covered Park during the first round as she tried to defend her title(unfortunately unsuccessfully). "Not a good day for Park. Greens are very unduly. Difficult to hold. She is firing at pins but can't make a putt. In numerous greenside bunkers. Seems a bit frustrated. Seems to be hitting good tee shots just can't capitalize." Corsello's assessment was right on the money, and Park ended the event in a tie for 26th despite rebounding nicely with a 70 on the final day. That came after a 77 in the third round. Sunny Oh, a former UNLV golfer, missed the cut. Las Vegas' Sue May was also at the Open serving as a USGA rules official.
The British Open, er, the Open Championship, is in full swing with former UNLV golfers Adam Scott, Chad Campbell, and Charley Hoffman in the field along with Las Vegas-area resident Nick Watney. Scott, Hoffman and Watney all work on their swings at the Butch Harmon School of Golf located at Las Vegas golf course Rio Secco Golf Club. Following the first round, Watney, Scott and Hoffman were all in at +1 while Campbell, the runner-up at the 2009 Masters, was in at +3. The leader was Miguel Angel Jimenez at -6 followed closely by 5-time champ Tom Watson and former champ Ben Curtis. The event is being played at Turnberry in Scotland. Las Vegas golf course Royal Links Golf Club is the home of two holes that pay tribute to Turnberry. Click now to view the official Royal Links Golf Club website and view the 18 Las Vegas golf holes that were created to honor the historic Open Championship.
Scott, who last year was among the top three players in the world, has struggled since but could be coming into form. He finished 4th at the Scottish Open last week, and feels good about his game, even after a spell of commitment that yielded no results. "Don't get me wrong, I was practicing hard when I was playing badly, but I feel my game has come so far lately and it's really just a confidence thing now," Scott, who also battled injury last year, told SkySport. "This is the best I've felt this year – all aspects of my game have improved and I don't think I can hit it any better. I've got to believe what I'm doing is right and not let the doubts creep in. That's what does the damage and I've got to get over that. I was trying not to dwell on all the bad stuff that was happening, but the last few weeks I've started to feel really positive again."