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Hall of Fame pro helps ‘throwback’ Jordan earn opportunities

Former UNLV walk-on Alex Jordan shot even par 72 in a pre-qualifier last Thursday and advanced to the PGA Tour’s Safeway Open Monday qualifier at Coyote Creek in San Jose.

Awaiting Jordan — who takes lessons from Siena pro Kim Dolan, a 2019 Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame inductee — was a field that featured a combined 12 PGA Tour, 29 Korn Ferry Tour and three European PGA Tour victories vying for only four spots.

Jordan shot an 81 and didn’t advance, but remains determined to overcome long odds yet again as he continues his dream of playing on the PGA Tour.

Dolan’s expertise helped Jordan beat a deep field at the 2018 Nevada State Amateur, which included Hazen Newman, an Oklahoma State freshman, and Edward Fryatt, a former UNLV golfer and PGA Tour player. Following that impressive victory, Ken Gardner, a longtime UNLV men’s golf foundation member, helped Jordan earn the roster spot at UNLV.

Coming out of Bonanza High in 2013, Jordan had some partial scholarship offers, but because of finances it wasn’t feasible to go away to school. Jordan enrolled at UNLV and continued to play in Southern Nevada Golf Association tournaments — sometimes beating Rebels’ players in the process.

He culminated his one-year UNLV career in May (because of NCAA regulations Jordan’s “college clock” timed out) by playing in the final round of the NCAA Championship where he shot 79, better than 30 of the nation’s best.

“I had a blast at UNLV and it was an honor to rep the UNLV brand,” Jordan said. “That’s a pretty big deal in Las Vegas. It was also very satisfying because a lot of people told me I could never play there because they were too good.”

Jordan has retained his amateur status and works at Siena and TPC Summerlin, and possibly will be on shift during next week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open unless he successfully qualifies for the tournament through next week’s Monday qualifier at Boulder Creek.

“Alex is a great kid and a throwback to how it used to be,” said Dolan, 66, who has played in PGA Tour events and at UNLV, and also helped former LPGA Tour player Stephanie Louden. “He has worked, gone to school and played golf at the same time. Nobody works harder and there isn’t a lazy bone in his body.”

Unless something magical happens on an upcoming Monday, Jordan plans to remain an amateur until the 2020 PGA Tour Qualifying School when he will turn pro.

Overseeding updates

Several courses have reopened from overseeding or will this week, including the Desert at Primm Valley, Legacy, Bear’s Best, Reflection Bay, Rio Secco, Lexington at Revere and Cascata.

Rebel wins again

Last weekend, former UNLV golfer Taylor Montgomery won his second straight Leavitt Group Sand Hollow Open in Hurricane, Utah.

“I’m trying to make the PGA Tour, but it’s tough and you have to play a lot of good golf,” said Montgomery, who earned $20,000 and an exemption into the Korn Ferry Tour Utah Championship.

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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