May 27, 2010–Martin Laird captured the 2009 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, and that victory was the first of his PGA Tour career. Now Laird has fulfilled a lifelong dream and has qualified to play in the Open Championship at St. Andrews, a course which is located 15 minutes from the home of his parents. JT Open Tournament Director Adam Sperling was thrilled for Laird, and reports that the defending champ, who is scheduled to defend his Las Vegas title October 21-24, is also excited.–By Brian Hurlburt.
"It doesn’t get any better than this,” said Laird, as reported in an email from Sperling. “My parents live 15 miles away from St. Andrews so I will stay there all week. St Andrews, that’s the place I always wanted to play as a kid.” Laird was one of eight players to make the Open Championship field from a group of 78 players at Gleneagles Country Club in Plano, Texas. Sperling also reports that Laird qualified for the Open Championship in 2009 but missed the cut, as he did in the U.S. Open in 2007 and 2009. The Open Championship will be played July 15-18.
Unfortunately, the news wasn't as good for Las Vegas resident and PGA Tour champ Charley Hoffman, who lost in a playoff for the final spot in that qualifying field. However, there are some rumblings that Hoffman could be more involved in this year's JT Open, with more news about that coming soon. Also, 1993 Las Vegas Invitational Champion Davis Love III is in danger of missing the Open Championship for the first time in 23 years. Love III didn't qualify in Texas, but still has some other potential ways to get into the field. Love III also lost to Tiger Woods in a playoff at the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational. That event was the first PGA Tour victory for Woods.
The Las Vegas Golf Region has been the home to the PGA Tour since 1983, and such notables as Jim Furyk, Woods, Greg Norman, Paul Azinger and many others have won this tournament, which has gone by many names over the years. Now the tournament is in the very good hands of the Shriners Hospitals for Children. The organization is the major financial backer of the tournament and Shriner representatives have been very vocal about being willing to do whatever it takes to secure a spot for Las Vegas in the FedEx Cup series of tournaments. Speculation is that such a circumstance could very much happen because the players love Las Vegas and other tournaments are having a difficult time landing sponsors.
Las Vegas is also the home to more than 50 golf courses, many of them resort golf courses. Two such resort Las Vegas golf courses are the Tom Fazio-designed layouts at Primm Valley Golf Club, located about 35 minutes from the Las Vegas Strip. The Lakes and Desert courses are true Fazio, complete with tremendous beauty and views of the area. Click now for the official website of Primm Valley Golf Club, and to view the official photo gallery. You can also view official Las Vegas golf packages for Primm Valley and all reservations will be made through the official management of the courses, guaranteeing the best rates and service.
There are plenty of big events and fun that will be surrounding the JT Shriners Open this year. There is another youth clinic to be conducted by Timberlake and Butch Harmon, a ladies event, dental care given to deserving children, and of course, the official pro-am on Wednesday, plus the fun of the golf tournament on the weekend. Click now to the official website of the tournament to view all of the tournament information and event details. There are still spots available in the pro-am and other ways to get involved in this big and worthwhile event.