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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Ultimate Tournament - Shriners is Back

Ultimate Tournament

Former Ultimate Game Champion Scott Piercy leads a strong contingent of Las Vegas pros seeking the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open trophy.

Story by Brian Hurlburt


Scott Piercy grew up in Las Vegas and is one of the best junior golf, high school, college golfers and professionals the city has ever known. Most likely, his time for induction into the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame, which annually holds its induction as the kick-off event of Shriners Hospitals for Children Open week in Las Vegas, will be coming soon.

Piercy’s list of accomplishments continues to grow seemingly by the day, especially this season. Through early August, the highlight of Piercy’s 2015-16 was a runner-up at the U.S. Open, which he followed up the next week with another second-place finish at the Bridgestone Invitational, a World Golf Championships event.

“It was definitely a fun week,” Piercy says about the U.S. Open experience. “What it showed is that if I am playing well I can win at the highest level. I’ve always thought I could win a major and should win a major and that week kind of validated that. You never know when it will be your week.

“I had a weird feeling a couple months before the Open that I would do well and I told some friends about it so I had a calm about me entering the week and throughout the event. Immediately after the tournament I was very happy about my finish but as I thought about in the days after, I kind of got a little more disappointed knowing that I was right there but couldn’t close the deal.”

Piercy’s trip to PGA TOUR stardom from a youngster hanging out on the greens of Las Vegas Golf Club could be unlike any other player in history. Who else can claim their pursuit of a professional golf dream was aided by winning the $2 Million Ultimate Game in Las Vegas and Wynn Golf and Country Club?

Piercy’s cut of the winnings, after his investors took their share, was just under a million dollars and until his Bridgestone finish was the largest paycheck he’d ever earned and that included being more than his first-place checks cashed after winning on the PGA TOUR three times.

Until the Ultimate Game victory in 2007, Piercy was just another aspiring pro, playing the mini tours and trying to make ends meet. He was also playing hurt as he tried to keep his head above water in the grueling process of trying to earn a PGA TOUR card.

“Winning the Ultimate Game allowed me to take a break and get healthy physically and it also allowed my mind a break from the grind of the mini tours,” Piercy says. “I took six months off to let my left wrist heal and that really made a big difference. It also gave me a lot of confidence because I had to play great golf down the stretch to win.”

A few months following the Ultimate Game, and with about a million bucks in his pocket, Piercy advanced to what is now called the Web.com Tour in 2008 after qualifying through the PGA TOUR School. He then won the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open and finished ninth on the money list. He has been fully exempt on the PGA TOUR ever since.

Piercy is one of about a dozen pros who annually tee it up in Las Vegas’ PGA TOUR event and hopes to join the likes of fellow residents Kevin Na and Ryan Moore as champions of the tournament. If he did win, he would become the first player born and raised in the city that glitters to win in his hometown.

“I try to take it as just another week but it’s one that I really want to win,” Piercy says. “It would be great to win in front of family and friends, for sure.”

Vegas Champions

Kevin Na and Ryan Moore are the only two golfers with strong ties to win the Las Vegas PGA TOUR event. Na won in 2011 and credited his home course advantage at TPC Summerlin as a major reason why. He spent a couple weeks leading up to the tournament practicing every day. He made key putts during the final round on 16 and 17 mainly due to his course knowledge.

"If you know the golf course, you know exactly what it is going to do all of the time," Na said prior to the 2012 tournament when re-living his win. "So when you play a hole, you just feel comfortable that you can hit your shot. And when you get on the green, you know the putt. And you know it’s going to turn one way, or you know exactly what a putt is going to do. Or you know it’s going to turn more than you think. And you may make a 10 footer that the other guys might miss. And it isn’t just one shot; it’s a momentum switch. Like on 17 last year I had a putt from close to the middle of the green and the pin was back left. I know the putt is right to left at the start but at the end it actually goes away from the water and goes right. I knew exactly what that putt was going to do; I know it was 40 feet, but I knew exactly what it was going to do. Right when I hit it, it was online and, sure enough, at the end it moved pretty hard to the right and went in the hole. And that was my winning putt. Just knowing the greens can save you a shot a round and that can make all the difference."

Moore won the Shriners in 2012, the same year he was inducted into the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame during the week. Moore became the first former UNLV Golfer to win in Las Vegas. Earlier this year, Moore won the John Deere Classic and is now notably playing clubs from Parsons Extreme Golf, a new company founded by Bob Parsons, the founder of GoDaddy.com. Moore was the first TOUR player signed by the company.


The Big Six

There are literally dozens of ways to enjoy the annual Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, but here are six of our favorites. For a complete list of the action and schedule of events for the scope of the event, which runs from October 28 through November 6, visit www.shrinershospitalsopen.com.

  1. PKWY Patio on 17

The patio area presented by PKWY Tavern will feature an open bar with beer, wine, soda and water to all credentialed spectators. Overlooking 17th hole, this is a brand new hospitality structure to give you and guests a great view of golf. This is a great location for those looking for a lively setting to entertain their clients or party with old friends or make new ones.

The PKWY Tavern in Las Vegas will bring similar flare to the tournament as they do at their West Flamingo location that features 250 beers, gaming, food and more.

  1. The Hill

The Hill presented by Casamigos Tequila. Signature Tequila cocktails from Casamigos will be a major feature as will the traditional features of The Hill, which has become a favorite spot for fans to hang out and watch the action. 

Some of the best and most lively tournament viewing on the course is located here, a luxurious 10,000 square-foot entertainment pavilion overlooking the 16th, 17th and 18th holes and granting stunning views of the course, Red Rock Canyon and the entire Las Vegas valley.

In true Vegas fashion, guests catching all of the action at The Hill enjoy the best seats in the house to watch the players as they try to maneuver TPC Summerlin's exciting finishing holes. Guests here can enjoy an energetic and comfortable atmosphere resplendent with seating areas, tables and large plasma screen televisions for keeping up with all sporting interests, including the NFL and college football action on tournament weekend.

  1. Champions Club

TREW Financial & Benefits Group, Inc. presents Champions Club with views of the 16th, 17th and 18th green. Guests will enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the thrilling finish of tournament play. The semi-private hospitality venue is perfect for companies for a more social setting to entertain, with the full package of a Skybox or Marquee. 

The Champions Club packages are offered in 15 packs, eight packs, five packs, two packs and single tickets so there is something for everyone and every company. All packages include a full lunch buffet, hors d'oeuvres, dessert and full-service, premium bar.

Complimentary pairings sheets and official programs delivered each day keep you up to date on the latest tournament happenings, while numerous televisions and private restrooms keep you comfortable throughout your day.

  1. Lee’s Liquor Shank Shack

The Shank Shack presented by Lee’s Liquor is another great venue that is open to the public. Spectators can enjoy a specialty cocktail while watching the Par 3, 17th Hole Tee shot.   

This spot features the same vibe and spirit of the Lee’s Liquor television commercials. Throughout the weekend there will be drink specials, give aways and much more fun. Plus you never know if you might spot Kenny and Mr. Lee enjoying the action.

  1. 18th Fairway Fan Zone

This is the delicacy of the tournament. The 18th Fairway Fan Zone will feature Food Trucks from Cousins Maine Lobster, Fuku Burger, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and others plus action from Topgolf and Tito’s Vodka.  This is a public area and all are welcome so be sure to stop by as you walk the course.

  1. Tough Day Challenge

This might be the most unique golf tournament in all of Las Vegas. This is a chance to play the same pin locations and course setup as the PGA TOUR pros just played the day prior in the final round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

So no more excuses and snide comments about how you might play a PGA TOUR course. This is your chance to prove it plus help a terrific charity.

Teams of four can play TPC Summerlin on Monday, November 7th. The package includes:

- Golf for four (4) at TPC Summerlin
- Lunch and beverages during the round
- After play reception and awards
- Four (4) commemorative gifts
- Eight (8) weekly The Hill Badges for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open


Welcome All Fans

From Patrick Lindsey, Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Tournament Director

What is the first thing that comes to your mind about the 2016-17 Shriners tournament? 

Without a doubt, it’s our added presence within the community and our dedication to make sure all Las Vegas Residents feel welcome at our event. Whether it’s new corporate partnerships, our participation in the Summerlin Patriotic Parade, UNLV Ticket offer, or the special discounts we are offering local residents, we are expecting the local community to really come out and support a great cause and enjoy their only PGA TOUR Event. 

With 132 of the best PGA TOUR golfers competing, this year’s event will definitely not disappoint and will be an event all residents can be proud of on every level. 

Now that you have been a part of the event for two years, what is the most unique aspect about the Vegas event? 

We want our Southern Nevada residents to “own” this event and consider it as an extremely vital and important event within this community. This is why you’ll see special offers, tickets at our partner locations, and our participation at local community outings. We want to create this event in the eyes of our spectator.  We want to make sure they walk away feeling valued. We want to provide an onsite experience that will want them to return in future years. 

Get tickets now: www.shrinershospitalsopen.com

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