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Champion McIlroy says Summit too benign for PGA Tour players

Updated October 19, 2021 - 2:28 pm

Rory McIlroy had just won the CJ Cup on Sunday, marking the first time in his storied career he had won in his season opener and giving him the 20th win of his PGA Tour career.

So, of course, you’d assume he has great affection for The Summit Club, the Las Vegas course that filled in as the venue for this year’s event when it couldn’t be played in South Korea.

After playing the course for a week, the champion was asked what he thought of Summit as a venue for the PGA Tour. A wry smile came over his face.

“Yeah, I mean, at the end of this week, I think PGA Tour members would be pretty happy to just give the place back to the members,” he said.

Player after player commented throughout the week about the beauty of the course and the immaculate fairways and greens. But it was simply too easy for the best players in the world.

The cumulative scoring average for the week was just over 68. Only one of the 78 players in the field finished over par. There were 71 eagles, 1,627 birdies and just 529 bogeys.

While errant shots that found the native area caused some havoc, the fairways are too wide and the greens too accessible on days without wind — which was the case all four days last week.

“It’s a decent test,” McIlroy said. “I think if you keep it on the short grass, there’s obviously a bunch of birdie opportunities. I think with Vegas being a little bit at altitude and the course not really being that long to begin with, you know, it’s probably a little benign for a PGA Tour event.”

It’s also a course not built for spectators. With its meandering layout and elevation changes, very few fans made it out to the middle of the course during the week.

Jordan Spieth said without any wind, Summit is basically a putting contest as players hit wedges into a majority of greens.

“It’s just not a place they can hide the pins here,” Spieth said.

No spectators for The Match

Details are still being worked out for next month’s match between Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau at Wynn Golf Club, but one thing has been decided: Las Vegas golf fans won’t be in attendance.

“As for spectators, unfortunately tickets will not be available to the public,” Deanna Pettit-Irestone, executive director of Wynn Las Vegas, said in an email.

Koepka and DeChambeau will play a 12-hole match the day after Thanksgiving, broadcast live by Turner Sports.

Stoll finishes on the bubble

Second stage of LPGA Tour qualifying takes place this week, and Las Vegas resident Gigi Stoll won’t need to be there. She moved on to final qualifying already by the skin of her teeth.

Stoll finished 35th on this year’s money list for the Symetra Tour, the LPGA’s developmental tour. The top 10 players have already earned their LPGA playing privileges for next season, but Nos. 11-35 bypass early qualifying and move right into the finals.

Final qualifying takes place over two weeks in early December in Alabama. The top 45 players to come out of those two weeks earn LPGA playing cards.

Lake Las Vegas Classic

Reflection Bay will host the Lake Las Vegas Classic on Nov. 5. Foursomes will play a scramble. The cost is $1,600 per team. Entry includes tickets to a dinner on Saturday night, a scoring party on Friday night and lunch during the tournament.

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. He can be reached at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

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