Las Vegas PGA Tour courses hit milestones

Somehow, it has been more than two decades since John Cook won the 1992 Las Vegas Invitational. The tournament that year was played for the first time over the 18 holes of the new TPC Summerlin, which was built by the PGA Tour in partnership with the Howard Hughes Corporation.

The win was memorable on many counts, not only because it was played at Las Vegas’ newest private course but also because Cook was handed the trophy by his father, Jim, the tournament director. Jim Cook was a member of the Las Vegas Founders Club, a group of business leaders that operated the tour event in Las Vegas for several decades, raising millions for charity along the way.

“I was speechless at the time because they invited me down to present the trophy and I tried to not embarrass (John) at a big time for him,” Jim Cook said several years ago. “It wasn’t his first tour win, but that was a big one.”

This year marks the 25th anniversary for the course and club, and special events are planned to commemorate the occasion. The first takes place in May when a multimillion-dollar lifestyle and fitness center opens.

Over the past quarter century, TPC Summerlin has hosted events on the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions. Some of golf’s biggest names have won there, including Davis Love III, Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods, who collected his first-ever professional win at the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational.

Woods, a rookie, beat Love III, a veteran, in a playoff.

“Woods is going to be the player to beat for years to come,” Love said shortly after the loss.

Two local players — former UNLV All-American Ryan Moore and Las Vegas resident Kevin Na — have won at Summerlin.

Also celebrating a milestone this year is TPC Las Vegas. The course, which originally opened as TPC at The Canyons and is the sister course to TPC Summerlin, has been open for 20 years. An official tour event is no longer played there, but several pros play and practice at the facility regularly, including Moore, Na, Charley Hoffman, Dean Wilson, Scott Piercy and Bill Lunde. The course hosted events on both tours for a few years.

To celebrate the anniversary, TPC Las Vegas is offering raffles and other perks in addition to golf packages for visitors or Vegas golfers looking for a stay-cation.

Deal of the Week

Play the Desert Willow executive course with cart for $22 any day after 2 pm.

DragonRidge hosts charity event

The annual Drive for a Cure Golf Classic benefiting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is March 30 at DragonRidge Country Club. For more information, see cff.org/Nevada.

DragonRidge has been in the news recently because original developer Rich MacDonald is buying the course back from Pacific Links International.

Southern Highlands, another Pacific Links property, was also recently sold. A group headed by original developer Garry Goett repurchased it.

Stars on course

Jason Day, the world’s third-ranked player, was at Cascata recently to support one of his sponsors, Concur. Day made a quick stop in Las Vegas after a top 25 finish at the Cadillac Championship at Trump National in Florida.

The golf notebook appears every Thursday. Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt is a two-time author who has covered golf in Las Vegas for more than two decades. He can be reached at bhurlburt5@gmail.com. Follow on Twitter: @LVGolfInsider

Calendar

Sunday: Boulder Creek Invitational, Golf Channel Am Tour

Monday: Movers, Shakers and Money Makers Pro-Am, LV Country Club

Monday-Tuesday: UNLV men’s golf at Airstream Adventures Northwest Classic, Portland, Ore.

Wednesday: SNGA Tour at Wildhorse, state amateur qualifier No. 1

March 24-25: LV Junior Golf Association Challenge, Los Prados

March 24-26: UNLV men’s golf at The Goodwin, Stanford, Calif.

March 26-26: Demo Day Extravaganza, LV Paiute Golf Resort

March 29: Rebel Athletic Fund Scholarship Classic, Southern Highlands

March 30: Cystic Fibrosis charity event, DragonRidge Country Club

April 1-2: UNLV women’s golf at DAC/SMU Invitational, Dallas, Texas

April 2-3: SNGA Four-Ball Championship, Revere

April 9-10: UNLV men’s golf at Robert Kepler Invitational, Columbus, Ohio

April 11: UNLV Professional Golf Management Fundraiser, TPC Summerlin

April 12: SNGA Tour, Reflection Bay

April 14-16: Governor’s Black Tie Invitational, Southern Highlands

April 16: Southwest Open at The Ranch, Golf Channel Am Tour

April 21-24: Think Young, Play Hard Golf Digest Invitational, Royal Links, Bali Hai

April 23-24: Hurricane Junior Golf Tour Las Vegas Junior Challenge, Revere

May 6-7: Golf Fest Vegas, TaylorMade Golf Experience

May 9: Epicurean Charitable Foundation Inaugural Golf Classic, Red Rock CC

PRO TOUR SCHEDULES

PGA TOUR

What: Arnold Palmer Invitational

Site: Orlando, Florida

Schedule: Today-Sunday

Course: Bay Hill Club & Lodge (7,381 yards, par 72)

Purse: $6.3 million ($1,134,000 to winner)

TV: Golf Channel (Today-Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 9:30-11:30 a.m.) and NBC Sports (Saturday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. )

Defending champion: Matt Every

Last week: Charl Schwartzel defeated Bill Haas in a playoff at the Valspar Championship.

LPGA TOUR JTBC Founders Cup

Site: Phoenix

Schedule: Today-Sunday

Course: Wildfire Golf Club at JW Marriott Phoenix Desert Ridge Resort & Spa (6,538 yards, par 72)

Purse: $1.5 million ($225,000 to winner)

TV: Golf Channel (Today, 3-6 p.m.; Friday, 3-5 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 4-6 p.m.)

Defending champion: Hyo Joo Kim.

Last event: Ha Na Jang won the HSBC Women’s Champions in Singapore on March 6 for her second victory of the year.

PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS

What: Tucson Conquistadores Classic

Site: Tucson, Arizona

Schedule: Friday-Sunday

Course: Catalina Course at Omni Tucson National (7,143 yards, par 72)

Purse: $1.7 million ($255,000 to winner)

TV: Golf Channel (Friday, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.)

Defending champion: Marco Dawson

Last event: Bernhard Langer won the Chubb Classic in Naples, Florida, on Feb. 14 for his 26th senior title.

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