On a weekend when NASCAR’s South Point 400 was raced at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and a PGA Jr. League (the Little League of golf) regional playoff was played at Boulder Creek, here was a crazy thought:
Should PGA Tour and LPGA Tour players be labeled with numbers just as racers and PGA Jr. League competitors are?
Martin Truex, Jr., No. 19, won the race while the San Ramon all-stars — each wearing numerals on the uniform— advanced to the finals Oct. 11-14 at Greyhawk in Scottsdale.
An ongoing issue for golf has been the creation of superstars who are easily recognizable by avid and casual fans, so maybe players with numbers could help.
Using NASCAR as the example, Dale Earnhardt was arguably the sport’s biggest superstar. But looming nearly as large as his “Big E” persona was his number three. His son, Dale Earnhardt, Jr., was synonymous with the No. 8 and no driver ever wants to see the No. 18 of Las Vegas’ Kyle Busch in the rearview mirror.
Numbers only add to a driver’s mystique and the same could happen for golfers, but who knows if it would be feasible for every tournament. However, it would be compelling as a one-off.
Players wearing numbers for one tournament would be unique and generate additional exposure for PGA Junior League through a partnership. Tour players would love it and a “number draft” could be held prior to the tournament when players choose his or her favorite number based on order of season ranking. Most of us have a sentimental favorite number so learning why a player chooses certain digits would provide interesting storylines.
Possibly moving this idea forward is recent video of NBA superstar Steph Curry, a PGA Jr. League ambassador, sinking a long putt at a charity event while looking cool in a PGA Jr. League golf shirt with his highly-recognizable number 30 on the back.
Shriners Hospitals for Children Open tournament director Patrick Lindsey should have full license to pursue this idea.
PGA of America professionals are the coaches of PGA Jr. League teams at various Southern Nevada courses. Information is available at PGAJrLeague.com.
Kang reps USA
LPGA Tour player and Las Vegas resident Danielle Kang still enjoyed her Solheim Cup experience despite the USA’s close loss to Europe, 14.5-13.5. Kang was 1-3 in the matches including a 1-up loss to Carlota Ciganda in the Sunday singles as part of the day’s first match.
“Best team I’ve ever been on, in anything,” Kang tweeted shortly after Europe’s Suzann Pettersen sank the dramatic winning putt.
Ganir plays U.S. Mid-Amateur
Kamden Ganir, a Southern Nevada Golf Association and Angel Park employee, qualified for the U.S. Mid-Amateur in Colorado, which was his first USGA national tournament. He shot 73-78—151 and missed the cut to the match play portion.
Topgolf Monday night madness
A Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association fundraiser is Oct. 14 at Topgolf and features 3 hours of play, buffet dinner, prizes and more. Sign up at SouthernNevadaJuniorGolf.com.
The golf notebook appears Wednesdays. 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 email@example.com or @LVGolfInsider.
Upcoming area events
Saturday: Kiwanis Club 2 nd Annual 4 the Kids, TPC Las Vegas
Sept. 26: Major Series of Putting League, Desert Willow
Sept. 26: Miracle Flights Swing for Wings, Topgolf
Sept. 27: SNGA Stableford, Coyote Springs
Sept. 27: LV Golf Hall of Fame Classic, Spanish Trail
Sept. 28: LV Golf Hall of Fame Night of Induction, TPC Summerlin
Sept. 30: Shriners Clash of the Clubs Pro-Am, TPC Summerlin
Oct. 1: Kick Off Your Heels Shriners Luncheon, TPC Summerlin
Oct. 2: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Pro-Am, TPC Summerlin
Oct. 3: Major Series of Putting League, Legacy
Oct. 3-6: Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, TPC Summerlin
Oct.. 4: Par for the Cure Golf Classic, Bear’s Best
Oct. 5: Lakeshore Open to benefit Make-A-Wish, Phil Tom Course
Oct. 5, 6: SNGA Mesquite Amateur, CasaBlanca
Oct. 14: Monday Night Madness SNJGA Fundraiser, Topgolf
Oct. 14-20: Major Series of Putting, Legacy
Oct. 16: WSNGA Nathan Adelson Hospice, Desert Willow
Oct. 17: Better Business Bureau tournament, Rhodes Ranch
Oct. 18: Birdies and Bogeys for Youth, Durango Hills
Oct. 18: SNGA Tour, Las Vegas Golf Club
Oct. 19: Bower Golf benefiting School-Based Health, Wildhorse
Oct. 21: WSNGA Rally for the Cure, TPC Summerlin
Oct. 22: WSNGA Bewitching Golf, Boulder City GC
Oct. 25, 26: Concours d’Elegance, DragonRidge
Oct. 27: Share My Passion Annika Sorenstam Clinic, Southern Highlands
Nov. 1, 2: Audi Lake Las Vegas Classic, Reflection Bay
Nov. 5, 6: Nev. State Women Sr. Amateur, Highland Falls
Nov. 11: Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, SouthShore
What: BMW PGA Championship.
Where: Virginia Water, England’ Wentworth GC (East) (7,284 yards, par 72).
When: Thursday-Friday, 2-10 a.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, 4:30-9:30 a.m. (Golf Channel).
Purse: $7 million. Winner’s share: $1,166,667.
Defending champion: Francesco Molinari.
Race to Dubai leader: Shane Lowry.
What: Sanderson Farms Championship.
When: Jackson, Mississippi; Country Club of Jackson (7,460 yards, par 72).
When: Thursday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (Golf Channel); Saturday-Sunday, Noon-3 p.m. (Golf Channel).
Purse: $6.6 million. Winner’s share: $1,188,000.
Defending champion: Cameron Champ.
FedEx Cup leader: Joaquin Niemann.
PGA Tour Champions
What: Sanford International.
Where: Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Minnehaha CC (6,729 yards, par 70).
When: Friday-Sunday, 3-5 p.m. (Golf Channel-tape delay).
Purse: $1.8 million. Winner’s share: $270,000.
Defending champion: Steve Stricker.
Charles Schwab Cup leader: Scott McCarron.
— The Associated Press