Hang with PGA Tour pros at TPC Las Vegas

By Travel ArticlesDecember 17, 2012, 5:00 am

LAS VEGAS -- The private TPC Summerlin might seem to be more prestigious than TPC Las Vegas, its public neighbor just minutes from the Strip.

TPC Summerlin has hosted the PGA Tour's Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open exclusively since 2007. Golf Digest ranks TPC Summerlin eighth among the top 25 golf courses in Las Vegas. TPC Las Vegas is 11th.

The funny thing is, Tour pros who live in Las Vegas tend to hang out more at the TPC Las Vegas, a former host of both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour. Charlie Hoffman can walk to the private range at TPC Las Vegas from his house. Ryan Moore, Dean Wilson, Alex Cejka and Kevin Na regularly use the facility as well.

'Having the local PGA Tour players really sets us apart,' TPC Las Vegas General Manager Dan Hammell said. 'You could run into any of those guys in the grill or locker room or practice tee. That's neat for the guests and staff. Those guys are here all the time.'

The two TPC clubs are less than two miles apart, which causes confusion from time to time. Hammell said golfers often check in for tee times at one when they should be playing the other.

'Guests will just say 'TPC' and the cab drivers just don't know where to drop them off,' Hammell said.

Golfers who end up at TPC Las Vegas tend to leave inspired.

TPC Las Vegas: The course

With only 110 acres of irrigated turf, the TPC Las Vegas embodies target desert golf.

Hammell said his 7,080-yard, par-71 design played a full shot tougher than the TPC Summerlin when the two were co-hosts of a Las Vegas PGA Tour event (which has had several different names and sponsors) from 2001-2007. A slew of Tour pros -- John Daly, Steve Jones, Lee Janzen, Joel Edwards, Craig Barlow, Dan Forsman, Jay Williamson and Ryan Palmer -- share the course record with a 62.

The theme of the place reveals itself on the second tee box. An island green ringed by gigantic boulders sits in a box canyon, built up from the desert floor. It's a striking setting that illustrates the rugged terrain that architect Bobby Weed, with an assist from Raymond Hearn, had to tame before its opening in 1996.

Another canyon takes the challenge to a whole new level on the back nine. The 12th green is a second island par 3 surrounded by untamed earth. The demanding carries from the blue tees of the par 4s at No. 13 and No. 14 -- nicknamed 'Death Valley' and 'Gorge-ous' -- are two of most exciting tee shots in the region. The 612-yard par 5 at No. 15 is the layout's longest hole, ending at a green hugging the canyon rim.

'It is a natural [desert] wash,' Hammell said. 'When it rains in the mountains, we get a lot of water flowing through there. That's kind of neat. It definitely puts a premium on the tee ball.'

Water makes a surprise appearance to the left of the final green, a long par 4.

Tyler Volk, a resident of Vancouver visiting with a group of Canadians this fall, called TPC Las Vegas one of his three favorite golf courses in Las Vegas.

'It's fair but still challenging,' he said. 'It's got great greens. They are not too undulating. It's in great condition.'

TPC Las Vegas: The verdict

By tossing in an excellent Tour Academy and a fine JW Marriott right across the street, TPC Las Vegas is fully stocked for one of the best stay-and-play golf vacations in the high Nevada desert. I didn't see a PGA Tour pro the day I visited, but a celebrity sighting would surely take the experience up a notch.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

Getty Images

Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Getty Images

Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.