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Past 10 years of Las Vegas pro golf a doozy

Updated December 31, 2019 - 4:09 pm

Doozy is defined as “something outstanding or unique of its kind.” Well, the previous decade of Vegas pro golf was just that. Here’s a few of my favorite moments.

We should have known a memorable decade would unfold when Jonathan Byrd won the 2010 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open on the fourth playoff hole with a walk-off hole-in-one on the 17th hole at TPC Summerlin.

In 2019, local Kevin Na won his second Shriners, joining Jim Furyk as the only multiple champion in tournament history. His emotional victory was the perfect bookend to Byrd’s moment, and culminated the most successful Shriners since 1996 when Tiger Woods won on the PGA Tour for the first time. Na won his first Shriners in 2011.

It was as much spectacle as golf event, but there is no denying that “The Match” at Shadow Creek between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson in 2018 generated global buzz, both positive and negative. Mickelson won on the fourth extra hole, pocketing the winner-take-all $9 million.

In 2013, Bishop Gorman product Inbee Park won three consecutive LPGA Tour major titles. She then added three more majors later in the decade and the 2016 Olympics gold medal. Her first major victory was at the 2008 U.S. Women’s Open at the age of 19.

In 2016, former UNLV golfer Ryan Moore secured the clinching point in the United States’ Ryder Cup victory.

In 2013, Adam Scott won the Masters to become the first former UNLV player to win a major. In 2019, he made his first Shriners appearance.

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Las Vegas Country Club head professional Jason Edmiston said to concentrate on how the body works.

“One of the fastest paths to improving your golf game is combining technique improvements with physical improvements,” Edmiston said. “Ask your PGA professional to recommend a golf-specific fitness trainer for you to work with, and make sure these two experts are communicating with one another to create a plan that is specifically tailored to your goals and capabilities.”

Dr. Brent McCabe, from Birmingham, Alabama, a performance coach, sports psychologist and author, spoke to the Coronado High golf team and others in the Vegas golf community on Sunday night in Anthem. His advice: focus on each moment.

“Where golfers get into trouble is when they play ahead,” McCabe said. “They don’t maximize what they have in the present. It’s what I call winning every moment. … It’s the present moment that should have your full and undivided attention at all times.”

Stars on, off course

Former PGA Tour player Craig Barlow shot 65 and won the annual Joe Kelly Holiday Social at Las Vegas National. UNLV All-American and former PGA Tour player Jeremy Anderson was second. Kevin Higgins won the second flight and Jake Wagner the third flight.

Also playing was Kelly’s fellow Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame inductee, Jerry Roberts, whose first job in Las Vegas was at National 57 years ago, when it was the Stardust Country Club.

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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