Las Vegas, Nevada (Oct. 21, 2010 UPDATE 10-21)—Las Vegas’ Rickie Fowler will be on his home turf at this week’s PGA Tour stop at TPC Summerlin. Forgive him if he’s got a little more on his mind than just winning the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. He’s also staring at a possible million dollar payday at the end of the year. Fowler made a 4 on the TPC hole being used this week.—By Bill Bowman and PGA Tour Press release
With just two events remaining in the 2010 Kodak Challenge, the stage is set this week as co-leaders Fowler and Troy Merritt take dead-aim at the par-5 16th at TPC Summerlin. The two rookies and others look to take advantage of the final par-5 in the 30-tournament Kodak Challenge as they vie for the $1 million first prize. Fowler and Merritt both sit at 15-under-par in the Kodak Challenge standings, both having birdied No. 17 last week at CordeValle Golf Club (San Martin, CA) en route to strong performances at the Frys.com Open. Fowler, a prominent candidate for PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year, finished fourth for his sixth top-10 of the season, while Merritt’s tie for 18 moved him inside the top 125 on the PGA TOUR's official money list.
Fowler and Merritt are one stroke ahead of Tim Petrovic and Aaron Baddeley. All four players are set to compete this week in Las Vegas. The Kodak Challenge celebrates beautiful holes and memorable moments on the PGA TOUR and challenges players to perform their best on 30 designated Kodak Challenge holes. They must play at least 18 of the 30 designated Kodak Challenge holes. The player with the lowest cumulative score on his best 18 Kodak Challenge holes will win $1 million. The Kodak Challenge concludes on No. 17 at the Children’s Miracle Network Classic in Lake Buena Vista, FL, the fifth and final event in the PGA TOUR Fall Series (Nov. 11-14).
But this week it’s the par-5 16th at TPC Summerlin, one of more than 50 Las Vegas golf courses. The 560-yard hole yielded 32 eagles and 211 birdies last year. It lets players rip it off the tee. That sets up a second shot dilemma—go for it as you try to carry a huge pond that fronts this rolling green, or lay up and have a wedge in for the third shot. For those chasing the million dollars, birdie is almost a given at some point during the tournament. But if one or more of these players is in position to go for the green in two and give themselves an eagle putt, that could be the winning hole in the chase for the million dollar payday.