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NHL great Jeremy Roenick is a golfer, rattlesnake wrangler

Updated October 9, 2018 - 3:08 pm

Jeremy Roenick used to swim with Sharks, but he still plays with snakes.

Roenickwas a nine-time National Hockey League all-star and now is an NBC hockey analyst. In his spare time, he wrangles rattlesnakes including a few years ago at Cascata in Boulder City while playing with several San Jose Sharks players.

“I run to them because they are in my yard daily in Arizona in the summer and I’ve probably caught 20-30, even though it’s probably not the smartest thing to do,” said Roenick, who was at the SLS in Las Vegas on Tuesday to announce the new LPGA Tour Diamond Resorts International Tournament of Champions presented by Insurance Office of America.

Former Oakland Raiders superstar Marcus Allen, former Washington Redskins all-pro quarterback Mark Rypien and country singer Lindsay Ell also were at the announcement of the event, which will be played Jan. 17-20 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Florida that will feature 34 LPGA Tour champions including Las Vegas resident Inbee Park plus 43 celebrities and a $1.2 million purse.

“At Cascata, I had just had a conversation with the caddie about Arizona and all the snakes and critters there when all of a sudden on the 16th hole, we see the rattle snake,” Roenick said. “The caddie was totally shocked and said, ‘what are you going to do?’ So, I proceeded to pick it up in my usual way with a couple wedges. The caddie was freaking out, but I wanted to show the boys this snake.

“We had two holes left to play so I emptied out the ice chest and slipped the snake in it. I brought it back to the clubhouse and had the boys come out, thinking they were posing for a photo. I opened up the chest to expose the snake and they freaked. One of my buddies said, ‘Good thing you showed us after the round because I wouldn’t have been able to play if I saw it before.’”

Finkelstein earns card

Former UNLV women’s golf All-American Dana Finkelstein (2015 graduate) earned back official LPGA Tour status by finishing 10th on the 2018 Symetra Volvik Race for the Card money list with $60,168. Finkelstein was exempt on the LPGA Tour in 2017, but lost status after finishing 136th on the money list with $40,233.

Big Fischer

Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort professional Tom Fischer helped the PGA of America, Southwest Section win the inaugural McPherson Cup held at Glacier Club in Durango, Colorado. The event featured 12-player teams from the Southwest Section, Colorado Section and Sun Country Section. Fischer won both of his singles matches.

Johnson wins match play

Daren Johnson won the Nevada State Match Play at Hidden Valley Country Club in Reno.

Weekly deal

UNLV students, alumni, faculty and staff, kids under 18, active duty and military veterans, police officers, firefighters and EMTs get free admission to the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Nov. 1-4 at TPC Summerlin.

Stars on, off course

Charley Hoffman, a San Diego native, PGA Tour player and member of the UNLV 1998 national championship team, is now displaying his PGA Tour memorabilia at La Jolla Country Club in the same spot reserved for Gene Littler, who won the Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas from 1955-57.

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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