TOUR Hits Bright Lights of Vegas

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  LAS VEGAS -- The PGA TOUR heads to Las Vegas for its annual shootout in the desert, the Frys.com Open.
 
From 1983 to 2003, this event was one of two five-round tournaments on the PGA TOUR schedule along with the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic. In 2004, the event switched to four rounds, but the scores have continued to be low.
 
Andre Stolz (2004) and Wes Short, Jr. (2005) both posted totals of 21-under 266 en route to wins. Last year, Troy Matteson did them one better as he closed with a 69 to post 22-under 265 after four rounds in the 60s.
 
Matteson beat Ben Crane and Daniel Chopra by a single stroke. Chopra could be a player to watch for this week as he is coming off a share of third at the Texas Open.
 
There were nine players who carded all four rounds in the 60s last year at the TPC Summerlin and TPC Canyons. Players rotate over those two courses for the first two rounds along with their amateur partners before playing the final two rounds at Summerlin.
 
The field this week gets a boost by the return of Presidents Cup performers Charles Howell III, who went 2-2, and Scott Verplank, who was 4-0. They helped the United States claim a 19 1/2 - 14 1/2 win over the Internationals. International captains selection Mike Weir, who posted a team-best 3-1-1 record, also will be in action this week.
 
The GOLF CHANNEL has coverage from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (et) all four days. The TOUR shifts to Arizona next week for the Fry's Electronics Open, which is a new event.
 
Also on the slate next week is the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, where three of the four major champions will be in the field.
 
Masters winner Zach Johnson will be joined by U.S. Open champ Angel Cabrera and British Open champion Padraig Harrington. Tiger Woods, the PGA Championship winner, declined an invitation and will be replaced by Jim Furyk.
 
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