Las Vegas, Nevada (September 18, 2012)–We have dubbed Las Vegas the Ultimate Golf City for many reasons. But near or at the top of the list are the 25 or more Tour professionals who live in the area or who otherwise have strong ties to Las Vegas golf courses. And taking a look at the official residences of the 30 PGA Tour players who have qualified for the TOUR Championship in the FedEx Cup further proves the point as three live in Las Vegas, and a fourth played college golf at UNLV. —By Brian Hurlburt
Only Jupiter, Florida, is listed as many times with another player listing West Palm Beach, Florida, as a residence giving that area four players living within 30 minutes of each other. The three Las Vegas golfers are Nick Watney, Ryan Moore, and Scott Piercy while Adam Scott spent a year playing for Hall of Fame golf coach Dwaine Knight.
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"As Las Vegas has grown as a golf destination, so has the talent level of star players who have chosen Vegas as their home base," says longtime Las Vegas golf writer Jack Sheehan. "Thus it is no great surprise that Las Vegas based players occupy 10 percent of the field at this week's Tour Championship. With second-to-none practice facilities,over 300 days of sunshine, and instructors like Butch Harmon calling Las Vegas home base, an ever-increasing number of world-class playerschoose to live here. It doesn't hurt that UNLV has developed a nationally ranked men's golf team, which keeps imported talent like Ryan Moore, Charley Hoffman, Andres Gonzales, and Bill Lunde choosing to live full-time in the city where they were schooled."
Watney enters the TOUR Championship in third place and with a victory would claim the overall FedEx Cup title. Scott is ranked 21st while Moore is 28th. Piercy entered the Playoffs at 15th but hasn't played up to his expectations and stands at 30th.
Piercy is a native of Las Vegas while Moore won the 2004 NCAA title while playing at UNLV. He was a 4-time All-American at UNLV and has made his home in Las Vegas for several years. Watney moved to Las Vegas several years ago to be closer to his swing coach, Butch Harmon, a fellow Las Vegas Golf Region resident. Watney also appreciates the easy commute to the Las Vegas airport, the weather, and no state income taxes.
Fred Albers, radio correspondent for SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio says the following about Watney and his chances at Eastlake, site of the TOUR Championship: "Has played well since the U.S. Open, culminating in his win at The Barclays. Watney underwent swing changes with Butch Harmon that are now being seen with more consistency. Has not had a good year putting but was very good on the greens at Bethpage."