Las Vegas, Nevada (September 26, 2011)–Depending on the day and time, there are some number more than 30 Tour pros who have strong ties to Las Vegas golf courses. And this week, no less than 14 of them will be playing in Las Vegas' Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open PGA Tour event. Last year, Jonathan Byrd made an ace in the playoff to win, becoming the envy of the Las Vegas golfers in the process. –By Brian Hurlburt.
Despite having a plethora of Tour pros who have ties to the area, no such player has ever won the tournament. Of the 14 looking to break that trend this year, a few live in the Las Vegas Golf Region, a few played at UNLV, and a few others once lived in the area. And one player is named for the city. Well, not really, but with a name like Johnny Vegas, we had to include the 2011 PGA Tour champion as a true Las Vegas golfer. The 14 scheduled to tee it up in Las Vegas are Nick Watney (resident), Charley Hoffman (Resident, UNLV), Bill Lunde (Resident, UNLV), Chris Riley (UNLV), Kevin Na (Resident), Dean Wilson (Resident), Chad Campbell (UNLV), Ryan Moore (part-time resident, UNLV), Scott Piercy (Resident), Alex Cejka (Resident), Jhonattan Vegas (Honorary), John Mallinger (Resident), Alex Prugh (Resident), and Andres Gonzales (Resident, UNLV).
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In 2009, Chad Campbell, a three-time member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, lost in a playoff to Martin Laird. It was the closest a "local" has ever to come to winning the hometown event. In 1994, Robert Gamez came up one shot short against Bruce Lietzke despite birdieing the final five holes of the tournament.
The 2011 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open is the ongoing commitment between Timberlake and Shriners Hospitals for Children® to continue the tradition of a PGA TOUR event in Las Vegas. The collaboration between Shriners Hospitals for Children® as Title Sponsor and Host, along with Celebrity Host Justin Timberlake, creates a truly unique and world-class event for players and fans alike. A variety of well-known golfers will participate in the competition and help support the mission of Shriners Hospitals for Children®, while enjoying the signature flair that Las Vegas has to offer. The 2011 tournament is September 25 – October 2, 2011 at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.