Las Vegas, Nevada (August 13, 2010 UPDATE 8/14 and 8/15)–The PGA Championship at Whistling Straits is no different than any other PGA Tour event. As always, there are a handful of golfers–our count is seven–in the field with strong ties to Las Vegas golf courses including young gun Rickie Fowler and recent Turning Stone Resort Championship winner Bill Lunde, among others. And also at the course is Las Vegas resident Butch Harmon, who coaches several of the world's best players including Las Vegas resident Nick Watney (he is also playing) and Phil Mickelson. Other Harmon pros competing include Ernie Els and Stewart Cink. The Butch Harmon School of Golf is located at Las Vegas golf course Rio Secco Golf Club. LIVE SCORING. Watney was one shot off the lead after two rounds. He was in the lead by three heading into the final round. CLICK for an updated story.–By Brian Hurlburt.
August 14: Watney after his second round: "I love where I'm at and bringing it home will just be a matter of slowing things down and taking it one shot at a time as the cliche goes and I am in great shape but at the same time it's only halfway over, so I got along, long way to go and can't actually think about winning the tournament until with maybe about six holes left to play on Sunday."
Fowler bought a home in the Las Vegas area just before the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in 2010, and spends some time playing and practicing at TPC Las Vegas and TPC Summerlin. Lunde was the captain of the 1998 UNLV golf team that won the NCAA title, and still lives in Las Vegas, right down the street from fellow PGA Tour star and UNLV teammate Charley Hoffman. Lunde won at Turning Stone last week to qualify for the PGA. It was his first PGA Tour win, following up a Nationwide Tour victory in 2009.
The Las Vegas Golf Region is the home to more than 50 Las Vegas golf courses plus there more than 30 tour pros who have very strong ties to Las Vegas golf courses. One of those Las Vegas golf courses is Rio Secco, a Rees Jones design that is the home to the Wendy's 3-Tour Challenge in addition to the Butch Harmon School of Golf. All Las Vegas golfers are welcome at the school. Click now to view the official Butch Harmon web site complete with School information and to reserve your school experience. Also, you can click to the official Rio Secco web site to reserve your Las Vegas golf tee times and Las Vegas golf packages at this resort course. The sister course to Rio Secco is Cascata.
The other golfers with strong ties to Las Vegas golf courses at the PGA include Ryan Moore, a 4-time UNLV All-American and 2004 NCAA individual champ and Watney, a Las Vegas resident who moved here a few years ago to be closer to Harmon and because he liked the area. Also playing is Chad Campbell and Adam Scott, both former UNLV golfers, and another fairly new resident Kevin Na. While not a golfer with true ties to Las Vegas, Mickelson does spend some time in Las Vegas at the Harmon School, and revealed prior to the tournament how he is battling a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis, a disease that has effected his ability to practice of late. But he said he has a handle on it and is back close to 100% and a recent session with Harmon has him confident. "Heading into the PGA, heading into the last week, I'm probably not as sharp as I would like to be," said Mickelson. "I didn't play well at the British, obviously. I didn't play well last week, on the weekend, but I'm able to work on it. I had a good session with Butch and I believe that the game's coming around." Quote from ASAP Sports.com.