Las Vegas, Nevada (September 29, 2011)–Something is always going on at the PGA Tour's Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. There have been celebrities playing, golfers going low, parties, junior clinics and much more. Here is a sampling of everything happening at Las Vegas golf course TPC Summerlin. –-By Brian Hurlburt.
Brad Garrett headlined a party for Ciroc Vodka at The Hill on Wednesday evening following the MGM Resorts International Pro-Am. Garrett, of Everybody Loves Raymond fame, joked with the crowd and tour players in attendance. The Hill is the VIP viewing area that overlooks the par 5, 16th hole, the par 3 17th and the par 4 18th holes. Televisions, food, drink, and other fun awaits fans at The Hill and has become THE spot to gather for the tournament.
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Justin Timberlake played in the Pro-Am and reportedly showed a softer side when he agreed to be interviewed by several First Tee of Southern Nevada junior reporters. More to come about this in future posts, but Timberlake, who is very tough to get for the regular media, made the right decision in helping out the aspiring journalists after his round. Also being interviewed were Cedric the Entertainer and George Lopez. Lopez got big laughs form the gallery when he teased the young and nervous reporters. When they were shy and not asking questions, a person in the crowd made sure George knew this was their first interview experience. "Well, it's going to be their last if they don't start asking questions!" Lopez retorted in a playful manner. From then on, the kids opened up and asked more questions.
Reported by Shandi Huber, Kirvin Doak /Tournament PR: To raise support for Shriners Hospitals for Children, five PGA Tour pros put their putting skills to the test and took the Long Putt Challenge at the CenturyLink Prism Playground. Former Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open champion, Troy Matteson, joined Ben Curtis, Troy Merritt and others to step up to the putting green and for each putt made, CenturyLink donated $1,000 to Shriners Hospitals. Merritt, the 25-year-old Iowa native, found his groove following a set of practice swings and sank a putt for the network of 22 hospitals.
Nick Watney is teeing it up in his adopted hometown. Watney lives in Henderson and works with Las Vegas Golf Region resident Butch Harmon at the Butch Harmon School of Golf that is located at Las Vegas resort course Rio Secco Golf Club. "It's always nice to play at home, and definitely a bonus to get to sleep in your own bed and just relax for the week. So I'm just going to enjoy it and hopefully I'll have a chance on Sunday."
Tough Man Award of the Week so far: Robert Garrigus spent time in the hospital only to come out and shoot 5-under par in the first round. Garrigus had caddied for a friend of his in Phoenix and then practiced on monday before heading to the hospital with what he thought was a heart problem. "(It was) heat stroke and dehydration. They pumped me for three bags of saline and didn't go to the bathroom and they said I was pretty close to the edge. Just coming over here, thank goodness the PGA TOUR was kind enough to me to let me miss the Pro-Am and play in the tournament. They usually don't do that. I have to thank them for that."