Mesquite, Nev. (Nov. 13, 2015)–Tom Whitney came thisclose last year to winning the Nevada Open that is played annually in Mesquite, Nev. He birdied the 18th hole to force a playoff in 2014, but would eventually lose to Seann Harlingten. This year Whitney made sure that no playoff would be necessary by again birdieing the final hole of regulation at CasaBlanca, but instead of that score getting him into another playoff, it sealed his two-shot victory over former UNLV Golfer Kurt Kitayama. Whitney, who graduated from the Air Force Academy and was on active duty through May 2014, finished the three rounds that were played at CasaBlanca and The Palms at 14-under par and earned $25,000 for the victory. –By Brian Hurlburt
“Coming back here for the second year-in-a-row and after what happened last year makes winning a little more special,” said Whitney, who won four collegiate tournaments while playing for the Air Force Academy. “I birdied four of the first five holes of the final round and that really put me in a great position to win. Obviously the birdie on the last hole was important as well, but the fast start was the key. This is a great tournament that always has the cream of the crop playing in it so I knew I would have to play very well to win, and fortunately I did.”
Whitney began the final round two strokes behind the leaders Miller and Jeffrey Kang, from Buena Park, Calif. Kang struggled to a final round of even par and was the only player among the top 15 finishers who didn’t finish with an under par score in the final round. Miller shot one-under par 71 in the final round. The total purse for the Nevada Open totaled $125,000.
Jose Pelayo, a senior on the University of Utah golf team, was the low amateur with rounds of 72-77—149. He didn’t make the cut to the final round.
The Nevada Open is one of the most historic golf tournaments to be held annually in Nevada. The total purse for 2015 was $125,000, the largest amount in history. 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.
“Mesquite has been a wonderful golf destination for many years and hosting the Nevada Open each year is one of our favorite things to do,” said Christian Adderson, Tournament Director. “Because of our great destination, big purse and quality golf courses, we can attract a sold-out field of players and some of the top young players who are on their way to the PGA TOUR in the future.”
For the first time, Nevada Open week included a pro-am prior to the professional competition. The event raised $1,000 for Mesquite Junior Golf, which will go towards growing the sport among youngsters in the Mesquite area.
The Nevada Open is sponsored by Mesquite Gaming and The Mesquite Resort Association. Mesquite Gaming owns and operates the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, Virgin River Hotel and Casino, CasaBlanca Golf Club and Palms Golf Club. The Mesquite Resort Association is comprised of the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino, Eureka Casino and Resort and the Virgin River hotel and Casino.
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|Matt||Pridey||Corral De Tierra||CA||70||71||72||213|