Las Vegas' Nick Watney sees beauty, whales, birdies in round on at SBS January 8, 2010–Nick Watney is officially considered a Las Vegas golfer because he has lived in the Las Vegas area for a few years plus he works with Las Vegas resident Butch Harmon, who operates the Butch Harmon School of Golf at Las Vegas resort golf course Rio Secco Golf Club. Martin Laird, however, has unofficial ties to Las Vegas golf courses because he doesn't live in the city, but is the defending champion of Las Vegas' PGA Tour event, the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Both have interesting stories following the first round of the SBS Championship in Hawaii. LIVE SCORING.

Watney and Laird both fired rounds of 6-under par 66 and stood in 2nd place entering the second round of the SBS, the new name for the old Tournament of Champions, an event that dates back to its origin on Las Vegas golf courses. Watney and Laird trailed 2009 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover by a single shot after Glover fired a 65 over the holes of the Plantation Course at Kapalua. But the rounds might be remembered more by Laird and Watney for some of the ancillary happenings on and off the course.

Laird, who earned his first PGA Tour trophy with his win at the JT Shriners Open last October, hit the inaugural shot of the 2010 PGA Tour season when he launched a perfect tee shot off the first tee. "I didn't really think about it, actually, until I came up (to the tee)," Laird told the media following his round. "There was quite a lot of people around the tee. I guess it's the first tee shot of the new year, and the first shot with SBS as the sponsor. It was nice to hit a good one right down the middle." His victory at the JT Shriners earned his place in the SBS field.

The Las Vegas golf region is the home to many of the world's best golfers, plus more than 50 world class golf courses designed by some of the biggest names in the world of golf. Watney is one of no fewer than 30 golfers who play the major tours who either live in Las Vegas, have lived in Las Vegas, or played golf at UNLV. Sometimes referred to as the Ultimate Golf City, Las Vegas features a variety of golf courses, and currently there are many special rates and Las Vegas golf deals available. Three popular Las Vegas golf courses are Angel Park Golf Club, Legacy Golf Club, and Aliante Golf Club, and you can click now to learn about special multi-round Las Vegas golf deals at these Las Vegas golf courses, or how you can play resort golf in Las Vegas for $99 per round.

Watney was able to keep his eyes on the golf course despite some beautiful distractions, but still found time to enjoy the beauty of the moment en route to his solid round, that was predicted in a blog post by Harmon. "It's one of the most beautiful spots in the world," said Watney. "I think if you didn't appreciate it, it would be ashame. So I mean it's nice just to, between shots, look around and kind of take it all in. But once it comes forward you have to concentrate for 30 seconds."

Watney also mentioned he did some whale watching prior to–and possibly durin–the round. "(whale watching) was awesome. They are humoungous animals." And while some of you may say to yourself, a whale is a mammal, not an animal, a quick biology lesson reveals that a whale is an animal (vertabrate) first, then a mammal. Whatever the case, Watney continues to go for different kinds of animals (birdies, eagles) in rounds 2, 3 and 4.




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