Jack Trent lit up the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open scoreboard Saturday at TPC Summerlin.
The UNLV junior shot 5-under 66 and rocketed up the leaderboard — tied for sixth at one point — after starting the day tied for 50th. He’s tied for 28th at 11-under 202 after three rounds.
Trent is the first amateur to play in the Shriners on a sponsor exemption since Charley Hoffman in 1999. Hoffman played on the 1998 UNLV NCAA championship team and has been on the PGA Tour since 2006, winning four times and earning more than $28 million.
A future as bright exists for Trent, a former Palo Verde High School star who won two state championships.
“I am just going to keep doing what I am doing,” said Trent, who was born in Australia. “Practice with intent, eat healthy, work out and do some mental stuff. It obviously is working at the moment, so I don’t think I need to change anything, other than just obviously upgrade some stuff.”
Clif Vanetti, a Palo Verde assistant and Trent’s swing coach, is serving as his caddie and understands Trent’s talents better than most.
“He’s got the intangibles,” Vanetti said. “His ability to focus mentally is very strong. He’s got a great short game, a great touch, good hands and is a great putter, and he has the talent to hit quality half and three-quarter shots. If you are going to play on Tour, you better have that.
“His future is unlimited.”
Trent said the experience has been invaluable.
“After the first round, I didn’t look at the leaderboard because it doesn’t matter, but after the second round, I looked at it and saw a few of the big names that missed the cut and who I was tied with or close to,” Trent said. “It is special, and it just shows me that I can compete out here and what I have been doing is working.”
Freelance writer Brian Hurlburt can be reached at email@example.com or @LVGolfInsider.