March 21, 2010–Sometimes, as they say, help is just a phone call away. Such was the case for Las Vegas PGA Tour player and Las Vegas Golf Region resident Nick Watney. Watney made a call to fellow Las Vegas resident and swing coach Butch Harmon, and the conversation helped Watney fire rounds of 65-67 on the weekend and finish in 4th place at the Transitions Championship. Harmon's school is located at Las Vegas golf course Rio Secco Golf Club, where Watney spends a lot of time playing and practicing. By Brian Hurlburt.
"Well, I got on the phone with Butch and we kind of dissected how I was missing it and kind of found something on Friday afternoon practicing," said Watney, following his final round in Florida. "I was putting well Thursday and Friday. I just wasn't giving myself any chances, so with improved ball-striking, I kept putting well, and it's the kind of course that good rounds can make up a lot of spots. So luckily it worked out." The 4th-place finish was the best of the 2010 PGA Tour season for Watney.
Rio Secco Golf Club is one of two Rees Jones-designed Las Vegas golf courses, and both are owned and operated by Harrah's Entertainment. Cascata, one of the top rated golf courses in the United States by Zagat, is the other Jones design, and Harmon also has a presence at that course. Golfers attending schools at the Butch Harmon School of Golf have rounds included at Cascata and Rio Secco Golf Club.
"I played great," Watney also told the media. "You know, Thursday I was feeling a little lost, and Friday, actually, too. I made about a 30-footer on the last hole to get to 1-over, which I thought was the cut. And then the weekend, I played great. So this game is a little funny in that way, but very happy with the weekend and looking forward to next week." Watney, one of the best young golfers on the PGA Tour, now has three top 10 finishes in 2010, and has made the cut in seven out of eight tournaments, good for earnings of more than $795,000 and a ranking of 2nd on the FedEx Cup, through the Transitions Championship. Jim Furyk, a former 3-time champion of Las Vegas' PGA Tour event, now called the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, won the Transitions event.