Las Vegas, Nevada (April 7, 2010) UPDATE 4/10 –UNLV great Chad Campbell is back at The Masters this week on the PGA Tour, looking to improve on last year’s finish. It won’t be easy because the easy-going Texan finished tied for second in 2009, losing in a three-way playoff. Campbell is one of the players with ties to Las Vegas golf courses entered in the prestigious event joining Ryan Moore, Adam Scott, Nick Watney, and Kevin Na. These are five of the more than 30 players on the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and Champions Tour who have deep ties to the Las Vegas golf region.–By Bill Bowman.
It will be tough to outdo Campbell’s effort at The 2009 Masters when he fired rounds of 65-70-72-69—276 to get into the playoff with eventual champ Angel Cabrera and Kenny Perry. Campbell, who led after the first round, was eliminated on the first hole of the playoff. After a perfect drive, Campbell pushed his second shot into a bunker and couldn’t get up and down to advance in the playoff. “I was pretty excited to hit the fairways,” Campbell said of his drive in the playoff. “I got up there and had a perfect seven-iron and I just kind of hung it out to the right.” Update: Campbell made the biggest move on Friday, moving up 49 spots with a 68 after an opening round of 79. He was in a tie for 49th.
Campbell’s missed putt eliminated him from the playoff and left him tied for second, worth $660,000. He’s not getting much respect in the golf betting world this week as he is listed at 80-1 to win The Masters. Campbell would also go on to finish second in Las Vegas’ PGA Tour event, the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital Childrens Open, again losing in a playoff when he missed a four-foot putt on the second playoff hole. He wound up the year 59th on the money list with more than $1.7 million.
But it’s the Masters and Augusta National that the Vegas contingent has its eyes on this week. Moore will be making a return trip to Augusta for the first time since 2005 when he finished tied for 13th and was the low amateur. (Ironically, Moore beat Campbell by one shot in the tournament). Moore would go on to make the cut at the U.S. Open in what would be his last start as an amateur that year, He wound up 57th. He then turned professional and started his career on the PGA Tour with a tie for 51st at the Barclay Classic the following week. Scott has been a mainstay at The Masters but is looking to rebound after missing the cut last year. The two previous years he was tied for 25th and tied for 27th. Na is making his first trip to The Masters, earning the spot by finishing in the top 30 on last year’s PGA Tour money list. Watney works with Las Vegas' Butch Harmon, who operates his school at Las Vegas' Rio Secco Golf Club. Update: Moore had gone 72-73 and was T29 after two rounds. Adam Scott went 69-75 and T29. Na went 74-76 and missed the cut. Watney was challenging for the lead in round one but went 75 on Saturday and was T21.