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.


‘Golf’s 5th Major’ champion is Van Thomas

EVERY LAKESHORE OPEN WE HAVE THE SAME 'GIVEN' QUESTIONS THAT HAVE TO BE ASKED. THEY ARE:


IS THE LAKESHORE STILL THE MOST DIFFICULT LAYOUT IN THE WORLD?

ARE THE 'TIPS' DRAMATICALLY MORE DIFFICULT THAT THE FRONT TEES?

IS THE COURSE STILL RANKED NUMBER ONE FAVORITE FOR MOST OF THE PARTICIPANTS?

DO THE PLAYERS HAVE MORE FUN PLAYING IN 'GOLF'S 5TH MAJOR' THAN ANY OTHER TOURNAMENT IN THEIR LIFETIME?

IS THE LAKESHORE THE ONLY MAJOR THAT BENEFITS EXCLUSIVELY A CHARITY?


AS MOST OF YOU READERS KNOW, THE ANSWER IS PROFOUNDLY...................YES


THE YEAR 2020 WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN. IT HAS BEEN STRESSFUL ON EVERYONE WITH NO EXCEPTIONS. THE COMMITTEE IN FEBRUARY CHANGED THE BENEFICIARY OF OUR EFFORTS FROM MAKE-A-WISH TO THE IPOF (INJURED POLICE OFFICERS FUND). LITTLE DID WE KNOW THAT THE IPOF PRESIDENT, AND MANY YEAR PARTICIPANT IN THE LAKESHORE, LT. ERIC LLOYD WOULD LOSE HIS BATTLE WITH COVID-19 IN LATE JULY. THIS YEAR'S TOURNAMENT WAS A MEMORIAL TO ERIC WHO WAS LOVED BY MANY.


WHAT TURNED OUT TO BE A BEAUTIFUL CRISP FALL DAY, 51 PLAYERS TEED IT UP IN THE 21ST CONSECUTIVE LAKESHORE OPEN. 10 ROOKIES WERE MIXED INTO THE FIELD AND ASTONISHING 6 MADE THE CUT OF +19. AVERAGE SCORE OF THE FIRST ROUND WAS A ROBUST 24 OVER PAR. THE GREENS WERE SO FAST AND THE CONDITIONS WERE SO DIFFICULT THAT FRUSTRATION WAS THE ORDER OF THE DAY. THE TOP 10 FIRST ROUND SCORES WERE BUNCHED WITHIN 7 SHOTS OF EACH OTHER. PERENNIAL FAVORITE THOMAS BUONOMO HAD THE LEAD BY HIMSELF AT +5. HE HAS NEVER WON A MAJOR BUT HE SEEMS TO ALWAYS BE LURKING AROUND THE TOP. THE COMMITTEE LEARNED HE RECENTLY GOT ENGAGED SO HIS PRE-TOURNEY ODDS PLUMMETTED THIS WEEK. YOU COULD TELL THAT HIS CONCENTRATION WAS WANING IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND. WITHOUT YOUR MIND THE BALL WONT FOLLOW. THE PRECISION REQUIRED WAS TOO MUCH AN OBSTACLE. BOB 'BIG TIME MOUNTAIN LANDIS' TOM, WHO IS REGARDED AS ONE OF THE TOP PRACTICE ROUND PLAYERS IN THE COUNTRY, SHOCKED THE CROWD WITH A STELLAR +6 TO BE ONLY ONE BACK. FOUR PLAYERS WERE ONLY 2 BEHIND AT +7, (VAN THOMAS, PHILIP TOM, MIKE RYAN, AND KYLE ROGERS). ONLY 2 JACKET WINNERS MADE THE CUT..P.TOM AND ROB MULLANEY. ONE ODDITY IN THE FIRST ROUND WAS A HOLE-IN-ONE ON THE TOUGH #4. IT ALMOST NEVER GETS HOLED BUT ROOKIE DAVID BROWNELL PERFORMED THE FEAT WITH A BEAUTIFUL TRINDLING PITCH THAT ROLLED BY THE ADORNING AUDIENCE STRAIGHT INTO THE HOLE. DAVID LATER STATED THIS WAS HIS FINEST MOMENT OF HIS YOUNG GOLFING CAREER. ANOTHER TWINKLING EXPERIENCE, THAT TRULY STUMPED THE MARSHALS, WAS LAKESHORE VETERAN JACK HAYNES'S PICKLE ON THE 3RD HOLE. HIS TEE BALL WENT INTO THE LIMBS OF THE 'EISENHOWER OLIVE TREE' THAT GUARDS THE GREEN. HE COULD SEE IT AND HE ASKED THE AUTHORITIES IF HE COULD GO TO THE MAINTANCE SHOP AND GET A LADDER AND PLAY THE SHOT. HE WAS GRANTED THE PRIVILEGE AND EXECUTED THE PITCH. HE MISSED THE CUT BUT THE COMMITTEE WONDERS IF IT WAS A LEGAL RULING. PROBABLY NOT BECAUSE YOU CANNOT IMPROVE YOUR STANCE WITH AN ARTIFICIAL PROP.

THE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND HAD THE NORMAL EXCITEMENT AND NERVES ESPECIALLY ON THE FRONT 9. THE EXCESSIVE SPEED OF THE COURSE BROUGHT THE CIRCUMVENTING 'FENCES' INTO PLAY EVEN MORE THAN NORMAL. ESPECIALLY ON HOLES 2, 3, 5, 9 AND AS ALWAYS 18. IT IS VERY SIMILAR TO THE 'BURNS' OF THE EUROPEAN LINKS. CARNOUSTIE'S BARRY BURNS MEANDERS THROUGHOUT THE COURSE WAGING HAVOC IN A DEVILISH DISGUISING MANNER. THE LAKESHORE FENCES CANNOT BE OVERRATED. THEY ARE PERPLEXING QUANDARIES. ALL THE PLAYERS WERE TAKING THEIR TURNS BUTCHERING A FEW HOLES EXCEPT PGA CANADIAN AND ASIAN TOUR CARD HOLDER..... VAN THOMAS. VAN PLAYS WITH A HIGH ANGLE 56 DEGREE WEDGE AND IT PAID DIVIDENDS. HE EARLY ON RECOGNIZED THAT THE CONDITIONS WERE SO FAST THAT YOU HAD TO HIT THE BALL EVEN HIGHER THAN NORMAL TO CONTROL THE OBLIQUITIES. VAN IS A TRUE BALLSTRIKER WHO UNDERSTANDS THE 'MARRIAGE' OF THE BALL AND CLUB AT A VERY YOUNG AGE. HE PAINTED A MASTERPIECE THAT LAKESHORE COMMITTEE MEMBER THE 'ARTIST' COMMENTED AFTERWARDS WITH; "EVEN THOUGH IT WAS NOT A RECORD CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND SCORE, IT GOES DOWN AS ONE OF THE GREATEST ROUNDS IN LAKESHORE LORE. A TRUE WORK OF ART"- ARTIST


VAN WON HIS FIRST MAJOR BY AN AMAZING 6 STROKES. HE IS THE FIRST LEFT HANDED WINNER AND IS NOW 4TH RANKED IN THE WORLD AT THE LAKESHORE GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB. BEN DAVIS NARROWLY OUSTED BRANDON BAUMAN FOR TOP ROOKIE AND HIS NAMED WILL BE ETCHED ON THE LAKESHORE TROPHY. CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU BOTH. REMEMBER THE TOP 10 FINISHERS ARE AUTOMATICALLY INVITED TO NEXT YEAR'S EVENT- CHAIRMAN OF GOLF'S 5TH MAJOR LAKESHORE OPEN CHARITY TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE

P.S. WE RAISED CLOSE TO $10,000 FOR THE IPOF. GENEROUS DONATORS WERE: SCOTT TOM, BRENT BECKLEY, JAMIE NIKI, MIKE MULLALLY, GEORGIE LAVERTY, JACK HAYNES, AND THE CHAIRMAN