Mesquite, Nevada–Seann Harlingten, a professional from West Vancouver, BC, made his second appearance in the Nevada Open memorable when he won the 2014 title with a three-round score of 17-under par. He finished tied after 54 regulation holes with Tom Whitney, a 2010 United States Air Force Academy Graduate. Harlingten made quick work of the former cadet when he made a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole of CasaBlanca Golf Club, one of two Mesquite golf courses used during the tournament. The Palms Golf Club was also played during the first two rounds. Both Harlingten and Whitney recorded final round scores of 67.
“Putting was the key this week,” said Harlingten, who turned professional in 2006 and finished 29th on the Canadian PGA TOUR in 2014. “I have been practicing very hard getting ready for the second stage of PGA TOUR School and it’s great to see the work pay off. It was an incredible experience to win and it was even more special because my brother, Alex, was on the bag as my caddie. The courses were terrific and I want to thank the sponsors, volunteers and tournament committee for a great week.” Harlingten finished tied for 21st in the 2013 Nevada Open.
Ryan McCullough, from Las Vegas, Nev., finished as the low amateur with scores of 70-64-70—204. He finished in a tie for 12th overall.
It was appropriate that the event ended in a playoff because this year’s edition of the Nevada Open was an extremely close competition throughout with low scores being recorded all over the place. After round one, David Rose, also from West Vancouver, BC, was leading after firing an opening effort of 62 at The Palms Golf Club. He was followed by Justin Searles, from Mesa, Ariz., who recorded a 63 also at The Palms. The best first round at CasaBlanca Golf Club was a 64 by the eventual champ, Harlingten.
Rose stayed in the lead following round two after posting a 68 at CasaBlanca, but was tied by Harlingten, Kevin Roy, from Tampa, Florida, Michael McCabe from Thousand Oaks, Calif., and Whitney. Each ended the second round at 12-under par.
Rose was unable to complete his wire-to-wire victory and finished in a tie for 7th place. McCabe finished in a tie for third while Roy fell all the way back into a tie for 10th.
Whitney, who spent four years of active duty as an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Operator at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, won four collegiate tournaments while playing for the Air Force Academy and also played in the 2009 U.S. Amateur. He is a three-time Armed Forces Championship winner. He turned professional earlier this year and is hoping to earn a spot on the PGA TOUR in the near future. Whitney was five-under par on the front nine during his final round.
“The whole Nevada Open experience was enjoyable even though the playoff was bittersweet,” said Whitney, whose brother, Bob, a 2008 Air Force Academy graduate, served as his caddie.
The Nevada Open, organized by Mesquite Gaming, is one of the most historic golf tournaments to be held annually in Nevada. The total purse for 2014 was $105,000 with the winner earning $20,000. The event has been played for more than 40 years and includes such former champions as PGA TOUR winners Robert Gamez and Tom Lehman, and former Nike Tour tournament winner and current Butch Harmon School of Golf teaching professional Vic Wilk. Another former champion is Kevin Penner–now a PGA TOUR player–who won the Nevada Open in 2012 while still an amateur and playing at national college powerhouse UNLV. For more information, visit NVOpen.com
“It’s a huge deal for Mesquite, as a golf destination, to host the Nevada Open each year, especially given the long history of the tournament and its prestige as a state open,” said Christian Adderson, Tournament Director and Sports Manager for Mesquite Gaming. “It’s important for us to support the golf community at both the amateur and professional levels. The Nevada Open brings in some of the top amateurs and professionals from around the country and Canada, and we take pride in hosting a first-class tournament for them. It was also nice to have perfect weather for the week because it was a conscious decision to move the event from December to November so that the competitors could play the courses like they should be played.”
Mesquite, Nevada, is a golf destination that is located 77 miles north of Las Vegas. The Nevada Open is sponsored by Mesquite Gaming, operators of the CasaBlanca Resort-Casino-Golf-Spa and the Virgin River Hotel/Casino/Bingo, the Eureka Casino Resort and the Mesquite Resort Association. Mesquite Gaming also owns and operates The Palms Golf Club and CasaBlanca Golf Club and offers special golf packages with their resort and golf properties.