Las Vegas, Nevada (September 25, 2010 10:50 AM PST)–As we always say, there seemingly is always a PGA Tour pro with strong ties to Las Vegas golf courses doing something special week in and week out on the PGA Tour. This weekend at the PGA Tour's Tour Championship presented by Coca-Cola is no different. And today, Las Vegas Golf Region resident Nick Watney, who works with fellow Las Vegas resident Butch Harmon, fired a 28 on the back nine at Eastlake Country Club. –By Brian Hurlburt.
Watney's 28 was the lowest score ever on the back nine of the famed layout. He birdied nine of 11 holes down the stretch en route to a 63 that puts him at -2 for the tournament and jumped him into the top 10 at the time of this writing. Watney had struggled during the first couple rounds of the tournament and entered the third round at 5-over par and in 24th place. Watney moved to the Las Vegas Golf Region a few years ago to be closer to Harmon, and is often spotted at the school and playing some holes at Rio Secco. Watney is a 2-time winner on the PGA Tour, and had earned more than $2 million entering the Tour Championship. Click for more articles about Las Vegas golf tour pros.
Rio Secco Golf Club is one of the best Las Vegas golf courses, and was designed by Rees Jones. Rio Secco Golf Club is the annual host course of the Wendy's 3-Tour Challenge, a made-for-television event that pits three-player teams from the PGA Tour, LPGA Tour and Champions Tour against each other. The LPGA Tour is the defending champion of the tournament that will be played November 9, 2010. Rio Secco and the Butch Harmon School of Golf are both open to all golfers. The School offers instruction with Harmon, the world's best instructor as determined in a Golf Digest poll of fellow teaching professionals, and/or his qualified staff of teaching professionals.
Watney credited a tip from his caddie, Chad Reynolds, for starting his torrid streak of red numbers. Watney told NBC that his caddie told him to exaggerate a swing thought, and he then immediately went on the run. He also said that Reynolds read every putt perfectly during the streak. In the past, Watney has also called his partnership with Harmon very beneficial. Watney led the 2010 U.S. Open heading into the final round and during that week said that Harmon was "the best teacher in the world."
Harmon has operated his school at Rio Secco since the late nineties, and is very involved in the Las Vegas golf community, in past years hosting a junior clinic with Justin Timberlake during the PGA Tour's Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals For Children Open. Harmon is also an inductee into the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame and served as the emcee of the event in 2009. Harmon also lends his name to a junior golf series operated by The First Tee of Southern Nevada.