The 25th annual Lakeshore Open TBA (either last Saturday in September or first in October)

While many of the world’s top-ranked golfers played the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at TPC Summerlin last weekend, “Golf’s 5th Major”, the Lakeshore Open, was decided at Phil Tom’s home in the historic Scotch 80’s neighborhood in the heart of Las Vegas.

Despite the fancy name, “Golf’s 5th Major” (officially trademarked, by the way), Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka, Tony Finau nor any other PGA Tour players participated. That didn’t stop Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman from proclaiming last Saturday as Michelle and Phil Tom Day. The two were married following the tournament, which raises money for the Make-a-Wish Foundation.

The field included 110 players attempting to tame the difficult course that winds through the front, back and side yards of Tom’s home. The unique course features all par three holes from 10-41 yards and seemingly pencil-thin fairways. The 18 th hole played to an average of 8.67 strokes and overall conditions proved so difficult that first-round leader David Steele withdrew in Round 2 after a 24-over par front nine.

Only one club can be used and the winner walks away with an honorary blue jacket. The charity tournament is all in good fun and no prize money is awarded, but major bragging rights go along with the title.

UNLV men’s assistant golf coach Philip Rowe shot nine over to win and the top rookie performer was former UNLV women’s golfer Liz Prior (+31). Teaching pro Mike O’Donnell was second at 11 over.


With perfect weather conditions again, the 24th consecutive Lakeshore commenced at 8:27am Saturday, October 7th, 2023. Some 70 golfers with 15 rookies challenged the famed layout. One of the beautiful aspects of the most difficult golf course in the country is that you never know what is going to transpire over the next few hours. We were privileged and surprised to have PGA professional Harry Hall enter the field as a last minute entrant. From the first time I witnessed Harry play the Lakeshore some 5 or 6 years ago, I knew he had an uncanny ability to understand the 'marriage' of the golf ball with a wedge at a young age. I correctly predicted that he would make it onto the PGA tour and I still believe he will have a great career. He already might be the best putter on the tour, and of course his wedge game is also almost flawless. If he can just get everything else aligned he will be tough to beat. We kid Harry that the Committee would love to have him be the first winner of one of  the other 4 Majors to rebuke the interviewer when asked; "What does it feel like to win your first Major", by saying; "I already have one at Golf's 5th Major. But we are getting ahead of ourselves. He has to first win the Royal Blue Jacket at the Lakeshore.


The first qualifying 18 holes provided much excitement. There were 8 players who shot single digits in the first round with one-time Jacket winner Van Thomas leading at -3. Last year's runner-up and wily veteran Mike Ryan also was in red figures at -1. There have only been 5 rounds in Lakeshore lore in red numbers and this was 2 of them. Harry was close at +2. The other good rounds were: Bo Crawford, Thomas Buonomo and Jake Peterson all at +7; and last year's Champion Carl Gaglione and the Chairman at +8. The cut-line came to rest eventually, at plus 15, with 2 rookies passing the test. Making the cut for the first time in their careers were: rookies Kyle Melchiorre and Houman Nayeb; Cody Piper, Louis Aceves, Chris Emanuel and Marcus Mullins.


The stage was set for an exciting Royal Blue Jacket Championship with 21 strikers. The Chairman made an announcement that even though we had 2 under pars and six others in single digits that the winner would be at least plus 11. He confidently orated this because everyone usually takes turns collapsing on the back nine of a Major golf tournament. Everyone went 'according to hoyle' in the first nine holes except Van Thomas who was only 3 over to be even after 27 holes. Mike Ryan faltered badly on both hole number 3 and 4 carding a quad 7 and 9 on both. At 9 over after 4 he was in serious condition taking on water. Harry hung on with a 5 over front to be 7 back with 9 to play. This is where the tournament didn't go toward the normal script. Van wasn't being pushed enough where the nerves and the sweaty palms typically come into view. Harry lost a stroke on both 10 and 11 and was now 9 back and fluttering. Van then out of nowhere showed a chink in the armor. He mysteriously parked his sphere in the one place you have to avoid on the simple #12. He found the right pot bunker up against the railroad tie to what looked like an unplayable lie. He studied his situation so long that the group got a warning to proceed or take a penalty. Could this be the break down or the crumble that the gallery was anticipating? His options were to play the shot; drop in the bunker elsewhere; or hit 3 from the tee box. Finally, Van gave it a mighty lash and it fumbled out of the bunker by just a few inches. He went on to make a great bogey while Hall calmly sank a 5 footer for birdie. The lead was back to a scary but manageable difference of 7 strokes. Up ahead, only the Chairman was within shouting distance as he carded a 6 over to go to 14 over for the event. Van was currently at only plus one and Harry was plus 8. It was a 2 horse race with Secretariat in the lead. Harry desperately went pin hunting with a few holes to go which almost never works out at the Lakeshore and it didn't .....once anew, Van won his 2nd Major with an astonishingly 10 shot bulge over the Chairman at plus 4. This very seldom happens. Only a few Lakeshores have not been in doubt as the golfers approach the most difficult par 3 18th. Van is so close to getting his PGA tour card that HE may be the one to win his 3rd Major at one of the other Major events.


We had 90 rouinds played at the Lakeshore on Saturday, and only had 83 greenies combined for all the participants.  Less than one greenie per round, That is truly an amazing stat. A record 6 players shot better from the back tees than from the front. Typically only 2 or 3 do. Kyle Melchiorre won the rookie of the year and finished 4th and he will get his named etched on the trophy.


We raised a record amount for our charity benefactor Maximum Hope. Checks are still coming in but we are around $16,000 thus far. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Congratulations to everyone. The 2023 Lakeshore is in the books.-CHAIRMAN OF GOLF'S 5TH MAJOR, MAXIMUM HOPE CHARITY, LAKESHORE INVITATIONAL, GOLF TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE


1. Van Thomas                    -3, 7=     4             

2. Philip Tom.                   8, 6=.   14

3. Mike Ryan.                  -1, 17=  16

4. Kyle Melchiorre           10, 8=.   18

5. Jake Peterson.             7, 12=.  19

5. Marcus Mullins            11, 8=.   19

5. Carl Gaglione.               8, 11=. 19

8. Harry Hall.                     2, 19=  21

9. Brandon Bauman.        13, 9=  22

9. Rob Mullaney.              12, 10=22

11.   Kyle Rogers.                12, 11=23

12.   Frank Frisbee.              13, 13=26

13.   Bo Crawford.                 7, 22=29

14.   Thomas Buonomo.       7, 23=30

15.   Zane Thomas.             11, 23=34

16.   Louis Aceves.              12, 26=38

17.   Houman Nayeb.           15, 25=40

17.   Karl Mitchell.                 13, 27=40

19.   Ricky Jewett.                15, 27=42

20.   Cody Piper.                   15, 32=47

21.   Chris Emanuel.             14, 50=64