Tournaments

Shriners Open: 8 Interesting Nuggets About Vegas Tour Event

The Shriners Open kicks off the fourth week of the 2016-17 PGA Tour season with Smylie Kaufman looking to defend his title at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas.

 
With a long and storied history as a Tour stop, the Shriners event dates back to 1983 when Fuzzy Zoeller won what was then called the Panasonic Las Vegas Pro Celebrity Classic.

Here are 8 interesting factoids to know about the Shriners Open.

Wire-to-Wire Inaugural Winner

Fuzzy Zoeller won the inaugural Las Vegas event in 1983 by holding the lead from start to finish, which back then was a 5 round event.

 
Zoeller opened with a 63 and then shot rounds of 70-70-64-73. His final round 73 still holds the record for worst final round by a winner.

Jim Furyk Loves Vegas

Jim Furyk is the all time money winner in Vegas, raking in $2,129,619 over the years. Furyk is a 3-time winner (’95, ’98, ’99) and lost in a playoff in 2005.

 
His win in 1995 was worth $270,000, which is $228,000 less than what he earned ten years later with a runner-up finish ($432,000).

Vegas Millionaires

There have been eight players who have earned over $1 million playing pro golf in Vegas over the years. With the winning share topping $1M in 2013, three of those players on the list are the last 3 champions.

 
1. Jim Furyk – $2,129,619 (Wins: 1995, 1998, 1999; Runner-up: 2005)
2. Stuart Appleby – $1,236,106 (Win: 2003)
3. Billy Andrade – $1,120,967 (Win: 2000)
4. Bob Estes – $1,094,661 (Win: 2001)
5. Davis Love III – $1,010,416 (Win: 1993)
6. Webb Simpson – $1,080,000 (Win: 2013)
7. Ben Martin – $1,080,000 (Win: 2014)
8. Smylie Kaufman – $1,152,000 (Win: 2015)

A Very Smylie Sunday

In the process of winning his first PGA Tour win, Smylie Kaufman set the for record for a closing round by a winner. Kaufman posted a 10-under 61 in the final round last year at TPC Summerlin to beat a group of six players by a single stroke.

 
Kaufman also set a record for biggest comeback by overcoming a 7-stroke deficit.

Love Trumps Field

Ryder Cup winning captain Davis Love III holds the record for the largest winning margin. In 1993, Love lapped the field with a 29-under finish at what was then the Las Vegas Invitational, whipping runner-up Craig Stadler by 8 strokes.

 

Breaking Beck

Up until 1991, Al Geiberger was the only player to shoot a 59 in a PGA Tour event. Geiberger fired a 59 during the second round of the 1977 Memphis Classic at Colonial Country Club.

 
But during the 1991 Las Vegas Invitational, Chip Beck posted a third-round score of 13-under 59, becoming the second-ever player.

Names In Vegas, Don’t Stay In Vegas

There have been eight different tournament names for the Vegas PGA Tour stop.

 
1983 – PANASONIC LAS VEGAS PRO-CELEBRITY CLASSIC

1984-88 – PANASONIC LAS VEGAS INVITATIONAL

1989-99 – LAS VEGAS INVITATIONAL

2000-03 – INVENSYS CLASSIC AT LAS VEGAS

2004-05 – MICHELOB CHAMPIONSHIP AT LAS VEGAS

2006-07 – FRYS.COM OPEN

2008-12 – JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE SHRINERS HOSPITALS FOR CHILDREN OPEN

2013-PRESENT – SHRINERS HOSPITALS FOR CHILDREN OPEN

5 Things About TPC Summerlin

The Tournament Players Club, designed by Bobby Weed and Fuzzy Zoeller, opened for play in 1991. Here are 5 interesting nuggets about the TPC track in Vegas.

 

  • Built-in Fans – TPC Summerlin was built in heart of Summerlin, a 22,000-acre master-planned community on the western-most edge of Las Vegas. The community is currently home to more than 100,000 residents.
  • Stadium Course – TPC Summerlin is a stadium course and designed to accommodate golfing fans with unrestricted views of tee shots, fairway approaches and putting through strategically placed spectator mounds and natural amphitheaters.
  • Sister Course – There are two TPC Network course in Nevada – TPC Summerlin and TPC Las Vegas. The TPC network currently encompasses 25 courses in 10 states and, with the addition of non-domestic TPCs, three foreign countries. The TPC network is designed and managed by subsidiaries of the PGA TOUR.
  • Course Stats – TPC Summerlin is a par-71 with 18 holes that stretches to 7,255 yards from the championship tees.
  • Bent and Bermuda Grass – The course is covered with Bermuda grass fairways, tees and roughs; and new A-5 Bent grass greens, which were completed in March 2006.

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