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Las Vegas City Amateur is one for the ages

An old golf adage notes that the golf ball doesn’t know how old you are. That was on display over the weekend as players taking home titles in the Las Vegas City Amateur at Las Vegas Golf Club ranged in age from 14 to 71.

Emmerson Hinds, a 14-year-old freshman phenom at Boulder City, coasted to the women’s title, while 71-year-old Rich Morrison claimed his third senior crown 19 years after winning his first. Saint Mary’s freshman Avery Lazarski, who starred at Bishop Gorman, returned home to win the men’s title, while Chris Cookson captured the silver division and local legend Ronda Henderson won the women’s senior class.

Lazarski shot rounds of 66-67 to finish at 11-under 133 for a four-shot victory over Josh Goldstein, the front-runner for SNGA player of the year.

“I hit my driver well and putted well. Those are the two most important parts of golf in my opinion, and they really paid off this weekend,” said Lazarski, who had 12 birdies and two eagles over the two rounds.

Morrison, who also won the senior title in 2004 and 2008, had the only subpar round of the tournament Friday, shooting 71 to finish at 2-over 146 for a one-shot win over Kelly Knievel. Morrison watched as Knievel made 16 pars during the final round to go with a lone birdie and one bogey.

“I was really surprised,” Morrison said of the win. “If some putts had dropped for (Knievel), he would have won going away. It was just tough to make putts out here.”

Hinds, who won the state high school Class 3A title this month, shot rounds of 72-69 to run away from her closest competitor by nine shots in an event that has only recently been added to City Amateur week.

“It’s definitely very cool to be part of something that’s just starting,” she said. “It will be cool to see it grow over the years, and to be able to etch my name in that history is something I will always remember.”

Cookson, who previously played the European Tour before regaining his amateur status, shot consecutive 68s for a four-shot win. Henderson finished at 3 over, 15 shots clear of her closest pursuer.

Other City Amateur Week winners included Demi Du (Junior girls), RJ Arone (Junior boys), Jeffrey Gilliame (Championship net), Freddie Sarno (Senior net), Rene Romua (Silver net) and Shayna Bott (Womens net).

East West Matches

Brady Exber has done just about everything in amateur golf in Southern Nevada. Add another first to his resume. Exber will serve as a captain at the East West Matches in November 2024 in Carrollton, Texas.

The three-day event features two teams of 18 players with six seniors, at least 10 mid-amateurs and up to two amateurs who have not reached the age of 25.

“To serve as the captain of the West team is a privilege,” said Exber, who claims the 2014 R&A Senior Amateur among his plethora of titles. “The East West Matches are a highlight event for great players across the country because they combine friendship and great competition.”

Exber is a 2006 inductee into the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame and the former president of the SNGA from 2006 to 2010.

Big win for Lee

One week after losing a playoff in a bid for her first LPGA Tour title, Alison Lee dominated the Ladies European Tour event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The Las Vegas golfer shot two consecutive 61s and a final-round 65 for an eight-shot victory over Carolota Ciganda at the Aramco Team Series event.

Lee set LET records for lowest 36-hole score (122) and 54-hole total, finishing at an eye-popping 29-under 187.

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. Reach him at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

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