Las Vegas, Nevada (June 30, 2010)–Las Vegas National Golf Club has been the site for major events on the LPGA Tour, the Tournament of Champions on the PGA Tour, and was also one of the Las Vegas golf courses used when Tiger Woods earned his first PGA Tour win at the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational. These days this Las Vegas golf course serves as the home of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame, and was the site of a qualifier for the U.S. Senior Open.–By Brian Hurlburt.
Mark Johnson of Helendale, California, and Las Vegas' Pat Laverty, brother of former Las Vegas Mayor Jan Jones, fired matching rounds of 70 to earn spots in the tournament which will be played July 29-August 1 at Sahalee Country Club. Las Vegas National proved to be a challenge, even at the playing distance of a mere 6,685 yards. "I think it's awesome that the old girl held up," says Head Professional Vic Wilk. "We thought that some lower scores might be needed to get through, but the old girl withstood the challenge. And I think this is a perfect place for this event because it is a classic course. We love hosting an event like this because it keeps the course on the map, and shows that she is more difficult than you might expect."
Las Vegas National Golf Club opened in 1961, and is located just minutes from the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. The layout is arguably the most historic golf course in Las Vegas. The LPGA Championship, a major, was held at the course from 1961-66, while the Tournament of Champions was played at the course in 1967 and 1968. Also during that time the PGA Tour's Sahara Invitational was played at the course which also has gone by the name Stardust Country Club, Sahara Valley Country Club, Sahara Country Club, and Las Vegas Hilton Country Club. Then the PGA Tour returned to the course in the mid nineties and watched as Tiger Woods fired a 70 in one of his five rounds. Woods ended up defeating Davis Love III in a playoff at TPC Summerlin, the host course of the tournament. Other names to win on this course include Mickey Wright, Jack Nicklaus, and Arnold Palmer, among others.
"99% of the field loved the course and the set-up, and they were saying that the course is in the best shape that they have seen it in a long time," says Wilk "They were all very pleased to have a new course in the rotation for this year, and were thrilled to play in under four-and-a-half hours. We are very proud of how everything went. the greens were rolling true, and some thought they might be even better now than when the tour played here." Las Vegas National Golf Club is a resort Las Vegas golf course. Both visiting and local Las Vegas golfers are welcome at the layout. Click now to view the official website and reserve your Las Vegas golf tee times at this historic course and experience Las Vegas golf history as you play 18 holes. Then check out the museum-style exhibit of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame that is located in the clubhouse.
In a separate qualifier in California, Las Vegas PGA of America pro Kim Dolan earned his way to the Open. Other notable finishes at Las Vegas National included Scott Massingill from Payette, Idaho, who has played the Champions Tour, and John Woods from Forestburg, Texas. The two fired matching rounds of 71 before Massingill birdied the first playoff hole to earn first-alternate status. Woods is the second alternate. Bob Lendzion, who has also played the Champions Tour and in Europe, and who now lives in Las Vegas, fired a 73 as did Las Vegans Doug Pool and Lee Winston. Al Cotton, a 69-year old pro from Las Vegas, bogeid his first three holes and a couple down the stretch and fired a 72. Longtime PGA of America pro Dave Barnhart fired a 72 while longtime amateur great Frank Acker fired a 76. Notable PGA of America pros Mike Davis fired an 84 while fellow teaching professional Gary Knapp went around in 80 strokes. Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame member Tom Storey bogeyed his final three holes to shoot a 75.