Las Vegas’ Nick Watney Near Lead at PGA Tour’s Chevron WC Despite Wind-blown Penalty

Nick Watney PGA Tour Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada (December 2, 2011)–Las Vegas PGA Tour star Nick Watney thinks he is about to go down in history. He just probably wishes that wasn't the case. After round one of the Chevron World Challenge, Watney was in a tie for fourth place, five shots behind K.J. Choi, who was 6-under par. The harsh winds cost Watney a penalty stroke, leading to a ruling that will soon go away. –By Brian Hurlburt

From PGATour.com: "Watney was motoring along at 2 under when he had a birdie putt on the 14th. He addressed the ball, backed off and watched it move, costing him a one-shot penalty. A new rule that would eliminate the penalty stroke if deemed that the wind moved the ball after address is not effective until Jan. 1.Watney took a positive out of that bogey.

"I might be the last player in history to be penalized under that rule," he said. "That could be a trivia question one day." Watney plays and practices at Las Vegas' Rio Secco Golf Club, the home course of the Butch Harmon School of Golf. Watney works with Harmon, who was recently voted–for the 12th-straight year–the top teaching pro according to poll of his peers in Golf Digest.

The Chevron World Challenge is hosted by the Tiger Woods Foundation. Woods was in a tie for second place, three shots off the lead. Tiger opened as a 3/1 favorite to win the event. "Anything under par is a good day today with the wind up," said Woods, a four-time winner of this event and the tournament host. "If the wind stayed down, you're going to have to shoot probably 68 or below for it to be a good score." Quote courtesy PGATour.com

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