After taking a week off for the President’s Cup, the PGA Tour travels to Las Vegas this week for the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Marc Turnesa defends the title.
It’s the second event of the Tour’s “Fall Series” and a decent field including nine Major champions has assembled to compete.
Last season Marc Turnesa completed a “wire-to-wire” victory to secure his maiden PGA Tour title. The 30-year-old finished on a, tournament record, four-round total of 25-under-par to beat Matt Kuchar by a single shot.
This tournament began life in 1983 as the Panasonic Las Vegas Celebrity Classic – an event won by Fuzzy Zoeller. In various guises, including the Las Vegas Invitational and Invensys Classic, the competition has been won by Greg Norman, Tiger Woods (his first PGA Tour victory back in 1996) and Jim Furyk amongst others.
Opened for play in 1991, the TPC at Summerlin was designed by Bobby Weed assisted by Fuzzy Zoeller. It’s an oasis in the desert at the heart of Summerlin – a 22,000 acre residential estate at the wetern edge of Las Vegas.
As the 2009 Tour approaches its conclusion the race to secure a Tour card for 2010 is heating up. At this stage every dollar counts for those on the bubble.
Venue: TPC Summerlin, Las Vegas, Nevada
Date: October 15-18
Course stats: par 72, 7,243 yards
Purse: $4,200,000 Winner: $738,000
Defending Champion: Marc Turnesa (-25)
Thursday 15 – Live on British Eurosport from 9pm
Friday 16 – Live on British Eurosport 2 from 10pm
Saturday 17 – Live on British Eurosport 2 from 10pm
Sunday 18 – Live on British Eurosport 2 from 10pm
Jim Furyk – He’s a three-time winner of this tournament and the highest ranked player in the field. He must start the week as favourite.
Matt Kuchar – He was second in this event last year and he claimed victory in the first event of the “Fall Series” – The Turning Stone Championship two weeks ago.
Anthony Kim – After an excellent showing in the President’s Cup, Kim will be looking to carry that form over into this week. He’s without a win in 2009 and will be hoping to rectify that here.
Key hole: 16th. A par 5 of 560 yards, it generally ranks as one of the easiest holes on the course. It’s reachable in two for long hitters so birdies are common, however, last season there were more triple bogeys on the hole than any other on the course.
Skills required: Going low. The winning total at Summerlin tends to be 20-under-par or better. The winner will make a hatful of birdies and the occasional eagle over the four days.