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Golfer Collin Morikawa making move to Las Vegas

Updated July 16, 2019 - 8:30 pm

A local PGA of America golf professional has confirmed that former University of California, Berkeley All-American golfer and current PGA Tour player Collin Morikawa, 22, is making the move to Las Vegas.

In June, Morikawa, who currently resides in La Cañada Flintridge, California, was quoted in Sports Illustrated as saying, “I’m trying to move to Vegas and I have a house ready, but I haven’t even had time to move in yet.”

Morikawa finished as runner-up to former Oklahoma State golfer Mathew Wolff, 20, at the PGA Tour’s 3M Championship in Minnesota two weeks ago and followed that with a tie for fourth at last week’s John Deere Classic.

In five PGA Tour events in 2019, he has yet to finish lower than 36th. Because of the hot start to his career, he already has earned full PGA Tour status for the 2019-20 season and is qualified to play in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Morikawa has eyes on even more success as this season winds down.

“It doesn’t stop here,” Morikawa told the media after the John Deere. “I have two more starts at the Barracuda and Wyndham, and I really want to get into those (FedEx Cup) playoffs. The only way I can do that is if I win.”

In March, while still playing for Cal, Morikawa tied for fourth at the Southern Highlands Collegiate, UNLV’s home tournament, which is informally known as the Masters of college golf.

The number of pros with strong ties to Las Vegas who have some form of status on the LPGA Tour, LPGA Symetra Tour, PGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions, Korn Ferry Tour or European Tour is continually evolving, but the current total is more than 40.

UNLV’s Joels wins amateur

UNLV junior Veronica Joels shot 72-73–145 to win the Nevada State Women’s Amateur for the second straight year Tuesday at Toiyabe Golf Club in Washoe. She finished nine strokes ahead of runner-up Jill Beglin of Reno.

Putting event returns

For the third straight year, the $250,000 Major Series of Putting returns to Las Vegas on Oct. 14 to 20 with various competitions. The highlight of the event, which will be held at Legacy in Henderson, is the $125,000 Stroke Play Championship on Oct. 19 and 20.

Currently taking place at Legacy at 6 p.m. each Thursday through Sept. 26 are Major Series of Putting League events with prizes — a $100 TaylorMade gift card for first — and chances to earn points toward qualifying for the October championship. During league play, three putting rounds of nine holes cost $20 and a $10 rebuy is available.

May days

Las Vegas Golf Hall of Famer Bob May is having success on the European senior circuit, the StaySure Tour. He finished tied for 16th at last week’s European Tour Destinations Senior Classic and tied for ninth at the previous week’s Swiss Seniors Open.

Weekly deal

Locals can play Reflection Bay for $48 Monday through Wednesday this summer plus get a free draft beer.

Stars on, off course

Baseball Hall of Famer and Las Vegas resident Greg Maddux tied for 35th at the American Century Championship celebrity event at Edgewood in Lake Tahoe last weekend. His caddie was Keith Flatt, owner of Elite Golf, a company that manages Aliante, Legacy, Primm Valley and Mountain Falls, among other Vegas courses.

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 bhurlburt5@gmail.com or @LVGolfInsider.

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