Las Vegas, Nevada (October 17, 2010 UPDATED 10/19)–Fourteen is one answer to the question in the headline (the answer is now 17 as recent UNLV golfer Eddie Olson received an exemption and will make his first PGA Tour start plus former Rebel Warren Schutte and Las Vegas resident earned spots via a Monday qualifier). Today marks the start of PGA Tour week in Las Vegas with the first official events surrounding the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open kicking off. And like there is seemingly every weekend there will be many golfers with strong ties to Las Vegas golf courses playing in Las Vegas' PGA Tour event and challenging for the title. By Brian Hurlburt.
Right now, there are about a half-dozen high on the leaderboard at the FRYS.com Open being played in California, and as of this writing, there will be 15 Las Vegas golfers playing Las Vegas golf course and host course TPC Summerlin this coming week. A charity walk among the holes of TPC Summerlin is taking place today in addition to a junior clinic headed by Timberlake. Many other events on and off the course will take place over the next eight days as well including the JT and Friends concert at Planet Hollywood on Saturday October 23rd and the pro competition which starts Thursday and runs through Sunday. Among the notable players with strong ties to Las Vegas golf course playing are resident and former UNLV star Charley Hoffman and potential PGA Tour Rookie of the Year and resident Rickie Fowler. Hoffman also hosts his pro-am at TPC Summerlin on Monday.
The Las Vegas Golf Region is the home to more than 30 tour golfers who play the major tours and who have strong ties to golf courses in Las Vegas. This year, three former UNLV Rebels have won tournaments on the PGA Tour (Hoffman, BillL Lunde, and Adam Scott) and Fowler represented the United States as a member of the Ryder Cup as a rookie. But Las Vegas is also home to many world class golf courses including Bear's Best Las Vegas, the home to 18 holes hand-picked by Jack Nicklaus from golf courses he has previously designed including PGA West, Castle Pines and Cabo Del Sol. Click now to view the official website of Bear's Best Las Vegas golf course, and to reserve your tee times in Las Vegas and Las Vegas golf packages.
Other Las Vegas golfers scheduled to play in Las Vegas in addition to Hoffman and Fowler are Alex Cejka, Lunde, John Mallinger, Kevin Na, Scott Piercy, Alex Prugh, Nick Watney, Cameron Tringale, Dean Wilson, Tommy Armour III, Chad Campbell and Chris Riley. Click now to view the official website of the tournament to purchase tickets, view the official schedule and more. The defending champion is Martin laird who is also scheduled to try to win two in a row.
"I want to say it's always great to win any PGA TOUR event, but to win one that is for such a great cause as this tournament is it makes it even more special," said Laird earlier this year about the Shriners Hospitals for Children. "That's something that over the year I've really realized how many people have mentioned to me about this tournament and all the great work that Shriners Hospital for Children and how good it is. It really means a lot that this is a tournament where I managed to get my first win." But he will have to go through a gauntlet of Vegas golfers to earn that prize, much like last year when he beat Campbell in a playoff. EDITORS NOTE: When this article was originally posted it mentioned the FRYS.com Open was being played in Arizona. In fact, the event is at Cordevalle Golf Club in San Martin, Caifornia. The event was previously played in Arizona.