‘Golf’s 5th Major’ champion is Van Thomas
The 2019 Lakeshore was a tournament of many firsts. Once again under perfect weather conditions, the 20th consecutive year of Golf's 5th Major was construed with a beautiful organized chaos. With so many great ball strikers the outcome was impossible to predict.
With the official number of 108 entries, the Committee allowed for the first time ever first round competition on Friday, October 4th. 30 players got there opening round in on Friday. For readers who have never played in the Open, you must know that Friday is the largest practice day before the event by far. The bedlam of permitting the 'first rounders' an easement and leeway through the winding course was a true test of the Lakeshore marshals and volunteers. They did an outstanding job!
Among the Friday combatants were 2 youngsters who set records for all 5 Majors that the Committee believe will NEVER be broken. 13 year old Dylan Mullaly carded a shocking score of +10 to comfortably make the cut. And then the late Committee approval of 8 year old Paul Rowe to contend, might as well be etched in stone. No one will be younger in history of Golf Majors. He shot a respectable 38 over to outperform many other strikers. For the many he bested.(12)........you need to work on your game. We believe Paul's experience will be something he will remember for the rest of his life.
29 rookies entered the field and 5 made the cut, proving the Committee wrong in their prediction that none would. (David Steele +3; Dylan Mullaly +10; Lizzie Prior +11; Aaron Slonim +13; Jim Heringer +13). The cutline was a record low of +13. Observer David Brownell incredibly forecasted that exact number midway through the tournament. We have that interview with Mr. Brownell and it will be posted later on Lakeshoreopen.com. Amazingly, rookie David Steele had the first round lead of +3. Even with the lead, the odds makers at Westgate still had David at 300-1 to win because of the betters knowledge that Mr. Steele had very little experience from the championship tees. Unfortunately they were right. After 9 holes in the final round he was 24 over and tried to quietly leave the premises. We never got an interview but someone in the gallery said he did not want to plug up the course for the other players. How could a first round leader in a Major tournament NOT finish the round. It has never happened in any of the Majors lore. If we get that dialogue we will pass on his reasons.
At the end of round one, eleven players were bunched in single digits. Anytime you shoot that low in the first round you have a great chance to win the Royal Blue Jacket. They were: David Steele +3; Jake Peterson +4; 2-time winner Harry Schroeder +4; Philip Rowe +5; Mike Mullaly +6; Mike O'Donnell +6; Marco Trstenjak +7; Matthew Tom +7; James Fuetz +8; Wes Taylor and James Derella +9. The stage was set for a tremendously entertaining final round pursuit of Golf's 5th Major.
As usual, many shot makers were struggling early, especially on the formidable tee shots of the diabolic point of holes 4-5-6. At the end of the front nine, O'Donnell, Tom, Peterson, Rowe, Peterson, Trstenjak, and Taylor, were still clustered. Murray Hickman Jr was painting a masterpiece but was too far behind to start. The same could be said for veterans Kyle Rogers and Todd Muchnick. Midway through the fiendish back 9 it was a 4 horse race between, Tom, Rowe, O'Donnell and Peterson. Matthew Tom hit 2 balls out of bounds on 18 to card a quad bogey and enter the clubhouse with the lead at +15. Sadly, it would not hold up. Rowe and O'Donnell stepped to the 'dog run' tee box 15th neck to neck. Rowe carved dazzling birdies on both 15 and 16 to open up a 2 shot lead. A double bogey for O'Donnell on 17 most likely defined his fate. As he approached the famed 18th he knew that only an 'ace' would give him a chance. And astonishingly, that is EXACTLY what he accomplished. He hole-in-oned the 18th! Ace...and we got it on film! That hole averaged over 8 shots again this year. That put Mike at +11 and Phil had to bogey or better the last hole to win his first Major.............................He parred it to WIN by 2 strokes. UNLV golf coach Philip Rowe had finally won a Major golf tournament. Congratulations!
LAKESHORE TOP TEN FINISHERS
1. PHILIP ROWE +4,+5= +9
2. MIKE O'DONNELL +6,+5= +11
3. MATTHEW TOM +7,+8= +15
4. M. TRSTENJAK +7,+9= +16
5. JAKE PETERSON +4,+13=+17
6. MURRAY HICKMAN JR +11,+7=+18
6. WES TAYLOR +9,+9=+18
8. JAMES DERELLA +9,+11=+20
9. KYLE ROGERS +12,+10=+22
10. TODD MUCHNICK +11,+13=+24
Others who made the cut were: David Steele(R), Mike Mullaly, Harry Schroeder, James Fuetz, Dylan Mullaly(R), Steve Daoud, Robert Tom, Jack Kozlowski, Jim Heringer (R), Lizzie Prior (R), Mike Ryan, Carl Gaglione, Frankie D. Larsen, Thomas Buonomo, Aaron Slonim(R), James Derella
Note: Lizzy Prior, (+11, +21=+31), was invited into the Chairman's Cabin for the Royal Blue Jacket presentation as top rookie.-CHAIRMAN OF GOLF'S 5TH MAJOR, LAKESHORE OPEN TO BENEFIT MAKE-A-WISH, GOLF TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE
Dreams and aspirations were prevalent in abundance as golfers teed off on a beautiful sunny day at the famed Lakeshore Golf Club Saturday, September 22nd. Many were playing their first Major (21 rookies); many were striving to make the cut (+17); and a few were realistically trying to WIN a Royal Blue Jacket. Just participating for such a great cause and witnessing the ‘greatest spectacle in golf’ is enough for a great percentage of the field.
Over 70 ball strikers teed off between 8:24am until 1:36pm. At 2:24pm, an emergency Committee huddle increased the cut line to 24 players instead of 21. Controversial, but a group was so bunched and the anxieties on the faces were so plentiful, the Committee made an exception. Will probably never happen again but that is the problem and the beauty of the Committee. It’s flexibility and timeliness on some issues are mostly a positive.
Six rookies made the cut: Scott Diel 62, Grigs Crawford 63, Ryan Tetz 69, Marco Trstenjak 70, Michael Difabbio 71, and Shane Lebow 71.Congratulation on such outstanding shot making! The Committee is still on the record though that no rookie will ever win the Lakeshore again. At the end of the first round, 7-time Champion, Chairman Philip Tom had the lead with a 3 over 57. Right behind was teaching pro Mike O’Donnell and perennial favorite Mike Ryan at +4. Rounding out the top 11 were 6th ranked in the world Thomas Buonomo +6; 2-time Jacket winner Harry Schroeder, scratch golfer Wes Taylor and rookie Diel at +8; and Lakeshore’s 2007 Jean Van de Velde, Karl Mitchell, 2004 winner Frankie D. Larsen, wine enthusiast and plus handicapper Chip Madsen and rookie Crawford +9. Other notables making the cut were; UNLV’s current #1 golfer Harry Hall +12; last years pre tournament favorite Kyle Rogers +13; Phil Rowe UNLV assistant coach and last years rookie of the year +14; (one footnote about Rowe. It comes from a very reliable source that Mr. Rowe in college and on the European tour, had the best short game possibly in the HISTORY of golf…..Other than that….no big deal! It is truly wonderful watching him try and solve the extreme puzzle of the Lakeshore Club. I believe in another year or 2 he will don a Royal Blue Jacket.) and superb rookie masher from North Carolina Ryan Tetz +15. By the way, Tetz got so destroyed from the tips that he did the honorable thing and walked off after 27 holes. He knew it wasn’t his year. It seems we have a few every year exit to speed up play. The Committee thanks you. The stage was again set for a fantastic finish on the back 18 of the Major.
The main question as we headed into the Championship round was: Can anyone keep it together for another 18 holes? After the last group went thru 9, Tom had a 2 shot lead over O’Donnell, +5 vs +7, with Buonomo, H. Schroeder and Jake Peterson a few more back. As usual, there were murmuring of disasters all over the grounds. Some were threatening to take a Caterpillar D8 to the ‘turtle shell’ 5th green. (the Committee loves that green fyi). Amazingly, Murray Hickman Jr. who was in the first group to finish, carded a beautiful 62 to be in the club house with the lead at +25. Shortly thereafter Rowe tied him with a 65 +25. That held up until Peterson painted a masterful 60 and Schroeder 63 got both of them in the clubhouse at +17. They would only need the leaders to stumble back into their range. Only 4 of the 24 who made the cut shot better from the tips than from the regular tees (Peterson, Hickman JR, Rowe and Trstenjak).
After Tom parred the difficult 10 and 11, he went on to birdie 12 and 13. O’Donnell felt he had to start pressing to try and catch the Chairman. After tripling 10, he double bogged 12 and then collapsed with a miserable 10 on the quick #13. It was basically over after 13 as no one pushed back on the Chairman. It was a rare anti-climatic 9 stroke victory for his 8th Championship.
With beautiful weather conditions, the 2017 Make-A-Wish Lakeshore Open went off as scheduled Saturday, September 30th. As with every Lakeshore, the predictability of what is about to take place is impossible. 80 players participated and 21 were lucky enough to make the cut. Currently we have raised well over $10,000 and 47 cents. The .47c is due to Jack Haynes and is a story too long to discuss here.
The first group teed off at 7:10am and these beginning morning tee times included the first of many controversies throughout the day. The Lakeshore is always organized chaos. The superintendent of the course does not water the course for 2 days before the event to gauge the ‘speed’ right, and there was some early morning dew that slowed down the greens for these early strikers. Harry Schroeder was the only one to take advantage as he was in a very early group and painted a masterful even par on the first round to hold the lead. James Derella was the only other golfer in single digits at +7 and then there were 4 stuck at +10 (Carl Gaglione, John Sieberg, Matthew Tom and Ryan McCullough). Hole 18 usually determines who makes the cut and who wins the Royal Blue Jacket every year and it was dramatically exciting for one of the last 3somes in the first round. Rookies Anthony Giordano and Jake Peterson along with veteran Paul Gaudet stepped up on the last hole all at the cutline bubble. Anthony and Paul could not find the fairway and their Lakeshore dreams ended abruptly. But Jake had a different outcome. He stroked a beautiful ‘ace’ to put him safely under the cut at +14. The excitement overwhelmed him as he had his finest moment in his golfing career. He was one of 4 rookies to make the cut. There were a massive record 29 rookies in the field. The other 3 to survive were (Jack Rippel +17 which was the cutline, Harry Hall +15, and UNLV coach Philip Rowe +12).
The final round every year only has a few ball strikers score better than the first round. The Championship gold tees are just 24 yards further than the up tees; and I know it is hard to imagine, but every year, these back tees play at least 10 shots higher per participant and this year was no exception. Everyone is aware that most players collapse on the back 18 of a Major but this year was a bit ridiculous. Everyone collapsed to a certain degree! It was fantastic that all 21 players could have won this tournament if they would have had shot +1 or better on the championship round. These are the best players and no one came even close to that number.
We often kid Dr. Harry Schroeder that he backed into his 2009 win because he was in the clubhouse a full hour before the final players broke down. This year, even though he had the lead going into the final round he had an amazing amount of difficulty on the front nine. He carded: 5-5-3-4-6-8-3-4-7=45 +18 over par! James Derella was having his own troubles too but he was tied with Harry at +18 at the end of 27 holes. Incredibly, they were tied for the LEAD! But there were 5 players within 3 shots of Harry and James. It set up a spectacular finish once again at the greatest experience in golf. Lurking were: Philip Rowe, Rob Mullaney, Ryan McCullough, Thomas Buonomo, and Harry Hall. Schroeder bogeyed both the difficult 10th and 11th and his group was now 4 holes back of the next 3some. These boys were taking a lot of strokes. The marshall then put his group on the clock. Which means they either speed up or be assessed 2 additional strokes. What happened next is legendary. Schroeder, a player who is 20 over par then birdied 4 or the next 6 holes and then took the long walk to the 18th box with a 4 shot lead. What made the difference? Harry said he heard rumblings when he was on hole 13 that Rob was in the lead and he did not want Robbie to win another jacket. Rob Mullaney was in at +20 in search of his 5th jacket. Harry had to card a triple bogey 6 or better on a hole that averages over 8 per player for the win. Harry first pitch went miserably out of bounds. He then hit 3 over the fence but was a bit short. He then had a big decision to make. Lakeshore News tried to get an interview with him but Harry would have no part of it. He was in his own world and selected to hit it further down the fence line rather than go through the fence immediately. He lied 4 and had to get it up and down through the fence to secure the victory. He turned the club over and backhanded a beauty to 6 inches of the pin. Harry Schroeder had won his 2nd Royal Blue Jacket and Major. His +19 was the highest score since 2006.
Harry Schroeder 54-73=127 +19
Rob Mullaney 65-63=128 +20
Philip Rowe (R) 66-65=131 +23
Ryan McCullough 64-68=132 +24
Thomas Buonomo 69-65=134 +26
Harry Hall (R) 69-67=136 +28
James Derella 61-78=139 +31
Matt Tom 64-77=141 +33
Jake Peterson (R) 68-73=141 +33
John Sieberg 64-78=142 +34
Jason Kirste 70-73=143 +35
Carl Gaglione 64-80=144 +36
Mark Tom 67-78=145 +37
Murray Hickman 66-81=147 +39
Mike O’Donnell 69-78=147 +39
Jon Holloway 68-80=148 +40
Paul Robards 70-79=149 +41
Fred Weiss 70-80=150 +42
Jack Rippel (R) 71-84=155 +47
Paul Olsen 70-90=160 +52
Randy Bolla 69-100=169 +61
I am overwhelmed again at the generosity of everyone who attended and participated this year. It takes a team effort to pull this event off every year. I will send an email later recognizing all of you sponsors that made this happen. The Lakeshore Club proved once again that it is the most difficult golf course in the world. The Open is a wonderful sanctuary that tries to get everyone away from the insanity of everyday life. I really do not want to comment on the tragedy that Las Vegas experienced this weekend other than I do not know of anyone who suffered a direct loss affiliated with the Lakeshore. Las Vegas is a great city and no doubt will overcome even this cowardly evil act. –CHAIRMAN OF THE MAKE-A-WISH LAKESHORE OPEN GOLF TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;
ON A BEAUTIFUL 85 DEGREE SUNNY OCTOBER DAY IN LAS VEGAS, 82 GOLFERS TEED OFF TO CHALLENGE THE FAMOUS LAKESHORE COURSE. IN THE FIELD WAS A RECORD 16 ROOKIES. YOU PLAY THE FRONT TEES ON THE FIRST ROUND TO TRY A SECURE ONE OF THE PRECIOUS 21 SPOTS TO MAKE THE CUTLINE. 6,549 STROKES WERE TAKEN IN ROUND ONE FOR AN AVERAGE OF 79.87 STROKES PER PLAYER WHICH IS +25 OVER PAR. NEEDLESS TO SAY…..THE COURSE WON ROUND ONE! KYLE ROGERS AND RICK SEVEN WERE THE ONLY 2 ROOKIES TO MAKE THE CUT. CONGRATULATIONS TO THEM.
ROUND 2 FROM THE CHAMPIONSHIP TEES WITH THE TOP 21 SHOT MAKERS, WAS ALSO BRUTAL. AVERAGE SCORE WAS 73 OR +19 OVER PAR. QUINTESSENTIALLY, THE COURSE ALSO WON ROUND TWO. ONE EXAMPLE OF THE DIFFICULTY OF THE LAYOUT, WAS THE TRAVAILS OF 2013 LAKESHORE RUNNER-UP TEACHING GOLF PRO KEVIN SCROGGINS. MURMUROUS GALLERIES WERE TRYING TO RELAY THE STORY LATER TO THE LAKESHORE REPORTERS. KEVIN SHOT A RESPECTABLE 65 IN THE FIRST ROUND. HE STARTED THE SECOND ROUND FROM THE TIPS BY PARRING NUMBERS 1 AND 2 AND THEN CARDED A 12 ON 3 TRYING TO GET OVER THE PEACH TREES. THEN ON THE FABULOUS #4, HE HIT NUMEROUS MELLIFLUOUS STRIKES OUT OF BOUNDS TO TAKE THE MAX OF 14 STROKES. THEN HE PROCEEDED TO TEE UP ON EVERYONE’S NEMESIS #5. HE TOOK A FEW LOOKS DOWN THE EXTREMELY TIGHT FAIRWAY. KEVIN THEN STARED DOWN AT HIS SPHERE, HESITATED SOME 15 SECONDS, AND THEN………….PICKED IT UP AND PUT IT IN HIS POCKET. HIS 2016 LAKESHORE ROYAL BLUE JACKET DREAM CAME TO AN ABRUPT TERMINATION. HE WALKED OFF THE COURSE. REMEMBER, THERE IS NO SHAME IN THIS ACTION. WHEN YOU DONT HAVE IT AND THERE IS NO REALISTIC RECOVERY, IT SPEEDS UP PLAY.
KENNY EBALO ENTERED THE HALLOWED GROUNDS SATURDAY WITH A CUSTOM MADE T-SHIRT SPORTING SOME NONSENSE ABOUT ‘KENNEE FOR THREE’. HE WON THE LAST 2 LAKESHORES AND HE KNEW THAT IF HE WON 3 IN A ROW, THE COMMITTEE WOULD HAVE TO RANK HIM AS THE ‘NUMBER ONE PLAYER IN THE WORLD’. AFTER A HO-HUM 66 ON THE FRONT 18, HE KNEW HE HAD TO DO SOMETHING SPECIAL ON THE BACKSIDE. HE DID. HE SHOT A MASTERFUL 3 OVER 57 AND WAS ONE OF ONLY 3 PLAYERS WHO SHOT BETTER FROM THE TIPS OF THE 21. PERENNIAL FAVORITES, ROB MULLANEY, THOMAS BUONOMO, FRANKIE D. LARSEN, RYAN MCCULLOUGH, JOSH VORNSAND, AND HARRY SCHROEDER, ALL WERE COLLAPSING AND DOING IT EARLY. FOR THE MOST PART, IT WAS AN INDISCRIMINATE SLAUGHTER.
FOR ONLY THE SECOND TIME IN THE 17 YEAR HISTORY OF THE LAKESHORE, THERE WAS NOT ANY DRAMA ON THE BACK NINE OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND. PHIL TOM, THE CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE, MADE A SUCCINCT STATEMENT ON THE DISCUSSION OF THE NUMBER 1 PLAYER RANKING. AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE SCORES BELOW, EVERYTHING WENT ‘ACCORDING TO HOYLE’ IN THE 2016 LAKESHORE OPEN. PHIL SET A NEW COURSE TOURNAMENT RECORD OF +5 AND WON BY 10 STROKES. CONGRATULATIONS FOR ALL THAT ACHIEVED A ‘TOP-10’ FINISH. YOU NOW HAVE A 3 YEAR EXEMPTION INTO THE EVENT.
THE PURPOSE OF THE LAKESHORE IS TO SUPPORT THE KIDS OF MAKE-A-WISH. WE RAISED A LITTLE OVER $11,000 WHICH TYPICALLY SATISFIES 2 OR 3 WISHES. I AM SO HONORED AND PROUD OF ALL OF YOU WHO MAKE TIME IN YOUR BUSY SCHEDULES TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. THIS IS GETTING RARER AND SO UNCOMMON NOWADAYS. IT IS HUMBLING AND I THANK ALL OF YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART.-CHAIRMAN OF THE MAKE-A-WISH LAKESHORE OPEN GOLF TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE
1. PHILIP TOM 58—55=113 +5
2. KENNY EBALO 66—57=123 +15
3. ROB MULLANEY 58—68=126 +18
4. KYLY ROGERS 65—63=128 +20
THOMAS BUONOMO 59—69=128 +20
6. RYAN MCCULLOUGH 62—69=131 +23
7. MURRAY HICKMAN 66—67=133 +25
8. MIKE O’DONNELL 60—76=136 +28
HARRY SCHROEDER 67—69=136 +28
10. FRANKIE D. LARSEN 63—77=140 +32
LARRY KEEVER 68—72=140 +32
12. RICK SEVEN 67—75=142 +34
13. JOSH VORNSAND 66—77=143 +35
14. MIKE MULLALY 67—77=144 +36
15. JASON BENNETT 66—79=145 +37
16. MARK TOM 70—78=148 +40
17. MIKE RYAN 69—80=149 +41
18. CARL GAGLIONE 66—84=150 +42
19. BRIAN COFFEY 66—88=154 +46
20. DARWIN MAO 69–112=181 +73
21. KEVIN SCROGGINS 65—WD
1. Kenny Ebalo: 56-63, 119, +11
2. Ryan McCullough: 60-64, 124, +16
3. Philip Tom: 64-63, 127, +19
4. Thomas Buonom: 63-66, 129, +21
5. Mike Ryan: 57-73, 130, +22
5. Robbie Mullaney: 64-66, 130, +22
5. Karl Mitchell: 68-62, 130, +22
5. Harry Schroeder: 68-62, 130, +22
9. Carl Gaglione: 66-65, 131, +23
10. Frankie D. Larsen: 60-72, 132, +24
11. Chip Madsen: 66-72, 138, +30
12. Jim Burke:: 66-73, 139, +31
13. Jason Kirste: 64-77, 141, +33
14. Jon Holloway: 70-76, 146, +38
15. Mathew Tom: 64-84, 148, +40
15. Brandt England: 68-83, 151, +43
17. Dusty Allen: 68-86, 152, +44
18. Chris McCullough: 69-83, 152, +44
19. Lonnie Kalfelz: 70-84, 154, +46
19. Murray Hickman: 69-85, 154, +46
20. Kevin Penner: 68-103, 171, +63
Thanks to Everyone!
I would be remiss if i did not recognize a few key individuals that make the Lakeshore Open happen. One is Mick McCoy. Mick kindly puts in time every year to set up the PA system in the wee hours of the morning of the event. He also has been in charge of supplying a great band for the last 6 years with the set up and the music. Multi-talented, he also plays every instrument and sings…. but more importantly, he allows the Chairman to sing at the party.
Another huge contributor is Karl Mitchell. He owns the ‘drink ink’ company and has been providing energy drinks with his logo and also helps in lasering the glass trophy each year with the winner. And we all know that Karl is by far the most famous ‘Lakeshore’ player who has never won a jacket. In 2007 with 2 holes remaining, he had a 7-shot lead that he somehow butchered to a one stroke defeat. It is always interesting to see every year whether he will ever get into contention again. I thank Karl for all his help.
John Pogue gave a very generous donation to Make-A-Wish this year even though he could not attend.
Special thanks to Las Vegas Review Journal and Fox Sports Radio for the fantastic added publicity this year. The ‘5th Major’ popularity may very well go parabolic in the near future. We may have to go to an ‘invitational’ again and maybe more than one day but most of you wonderful people will be grandfathered into subsequent majors.
Major 2015 Supporters
MAKE-A-WISH SOUTHERN NEVADA CHAPTER
KATHY GOERTZEN FOUNDATION-RICK JEWETT
RBC WEALTH MANAGEMENT-PHILIP TOM
McCULLOUGH PEREZ & ASSOC. LTD. LEGAL-CHRIS McCULLOUGH
STATE FARM INSURANCE-LARRY KEEVER
LAS VEGAS JUNIOR GOLF-TANNER BOWN
DIVERSIFIED COMMUNICATIONS SOLUTIONS INC-MURRAY HICKMAN
A.M.M. MANAGEMENT DBA GLO SALON-MIKE MULLALY
SHRINERS FOR CHILDREN HOSPITAL-BRANDT ENGLAND
CANYON GATE GOLF COURSE-KEVIN SCROGGINS
LAS VEGAS REVIEW JOURNAL-NORM CLARK
DURO BEE-BOP SPEAKERS-LAYNE FLACK
FOX SPORTS 1400AM RADIO-JASON KIRSTE AND MARTY RODICK
– Chairman Make-A-Wish, Golf’s 5Th Major, Lakeshore Open Golf Tournament Committee
Under perfect weather conditions, the 2014 Make-A-Wish Lakeshore Open commenced at 9:50am with perennial stalwarts Paul Gutwein, Fred Weiss and Steve Grogan sending their spheres down the #1 fairway. Eleven rookies attempted their first Major including Nevada state high school champion Van Thomas.
The Lakeshore Committee predicted that scoring records might fall because of a thundershower the night before slowed the course a bit. No player has ever shot under par in a competitive Lakeshore round but the front 18 saw 2 favorites, Kenny Ebalo and rookie sensation Jeremy Anderson both shoot 2 under 52’s. There were 10 players within a dozen strokes and as everyone knows, the Lakeshore is won on the back 9 of the Championship round. Four other rookies, Ryan McCullough (+6), spirited Danny Gray (+11), UNLV standout James Fuetz (+12) and Lonnie Kallfelz (+13) made the cut. Some colorful incidents of the day were:
Rick Jewett knocking one out of bounds on #11 and then acing it for a par and then acing #12. Rick was in red figures then but faded some down the stretch to post the early lead in the clubhouse at +9. An 8 on the last hole stained the beauty a small degree.
Paul Raidna caused a ruckus on #16 by calling marshals over to get a ruling. He stated that he teed off and his ball trundled down the fairway, went out the gate, rolled up onto the green, and into the hole. He wanted a ruling on what his options were. The marshals told him that he could either take an ace or re-tee and try and to do it again for a par. For wasting the marshals time, he was told he was getting a warning and was on the clock. Throughout the day the galleries and players heard from Mr. Raidna at least 500 times about his extremely lucky fortune on #16.
The Chairman Philip Tom performed an oddity on hole #10 on the Championship round. He hit a wayward tee shot that hit a bricked flower bed, then went backwards through an open garage door, glanced off an Aston Martin, continued out of the garage, traveled over Bannie Ave onto a neighbors yard some 100ft behind the 10th tee box. He then re-teed and hit it stiff and tapped in for a bogey 4.
Former blue jacket winner Josh Vornsand aced the difficult #5 on the first 18 and then did it again in the Championship round.
One of the fans favorite and one of the most helpful Make-A-Wish tournament supporters, Mark Tom, proved that you can make the cut again with a purple golf ball.
The uniqueness of constant distractions of laughter and unusual circumstances of various shots that the players have to tolerate, caused a day of fun and enjoyment. An open mike on the PA system makes it like no other golf tournament on the planet. Next year we may have to take a aspect of the old ‘gong show’ and get a lengthy hook to get the total deranged off the microphone.:)
We have had many fantastic finishes but this year may have been the best. Through 7 holes, Kenny Ebalo had an 8 shot lead on the field. Then the most beautiful, most difficult, most interesting, most amazing finesse hole on the globe revealed its piercing teeth. A slight angle adjustment of the Championship tee box of the 10 yard hole makes it astonishing difficult to release the clubhead for even the best. Both Kenny and the Chairman knocked 2 balls out of bounds and Jeremy one. At the end of the front 9, Kenny had a 4 shot lead on Jeremy and an 8 shot lead on the Chairman. This means very little because now the back 9 lied ahead. After Jeremy apparently shot himself out of the tournament with crippling 9 on the 10th the group approached 11 with Kenny in full command of the event. But……this is a Major. A win here NEVER comes easy. It was Kenny’s turn to let the field back into the tournament. After hitting 3 balls out of bounds he made a great up and down for a 9 himself. So after 11, the leader board read: Ebalo +5, Tom +8, Anderson +9. But up ahead blue jacket winner Harry Schroeder was sketching a masterpiece. He was on a birdie binge. Also lurking were James Derella and Josh Vornsand. They could pounce if there were any additional cracking in the armor of the leaders. Kenny bogeyed both 12 and 14 while Tom birdied 12 and 13. Incredibly, Kenny relinquished the lead to the number 1 player in the world. The Chairman was now poised to take his 7th jacket.
At the end of the 32nd hole the scoreboard read: Tom (+6), Ebalo (+7), Schroeder (+9), Anderson (+11), and Vornsand and Derella at (+12). The stage was set for yet another fantastic finish. A double bogey by Tom the dog run #15 to Ebalo’s par gave Kenny a one stroke lead going into 16. Both tapped in beautiful birdies on the difficult 16 and both got pars on 17. Schroeder parred 18 and was the leader in the clubhouse at (+10). A magnificent one over on the back 18, and from observers, could have been even better. So as the final group stepped to the final tee box the board read: Ebalo (+6) and Tom (+7). Remember this is a par 3 that averages over 8 shots per player every year. If both falter Harry will win his 2nd jacket. Kenny was to hit first. He laced his patented ‘stinger’ down the famous hole. It caromed off the fence and onto Bannie ave…. out of bounds. All Phil had to do was find the narrow fairway for the jacket. He lofted it slightly left of the short grass…..2 bounces in the rough….and then left onto Bannie ave…..out of bounds. Harry was now odds on favorite for at least a tie. Kenny second tee shot went over the fence and rested pin high but in a nasty lie in the rough. Phil second tee zoomed over the fence with a bit of a hooded spin. It came back under the fence some six feet past the pin. A great shot under the circumstances. Phil’s chip came up just short for a double bogey 5 and +9 finish. All Kenny had to do was get up and down from the wrong side of the fence for the jacket. By no means an easy task. With the unpleasant lie he banged it off the fence and remained on the wrong side of the fence, but he did have a direct sight to the pin from about 4 feet. The gallery was silent as Kenny lined up the golf shot of his life. A slow backswing and bang …….he holed it! His first Major is now in the bank! Congratulations Kenny. He is now one of 7 people in the world who possess a Make-A-Wish Lakeshore Open Royal Blue Jacket. – Chairman Make-A-Wish Lakeshore Open Golf Tournament Committee
The eloquence and the efflorescence of the Lakeshore golf course, revealed itself crystal clear Saturday, October 5th. Some 60 participants challenged the most difficult course in America on a perfect weathered summery day with the many colored rose bushes.
As usual, the first round provided many thrills and disappointments. The quintessential element of the opening 18 holes is to stay in earshot of the lead and, of course, make the cutline. Early scores on the front nine were mixed and after half the field came through, the rumor or harbinger was that the cutline could be as high at +25. The separator score was not determined until the last player tapped in on hole 18. After some hurried calculations by the volunteers in the scoring tent, +19 was the number where there were 21 scores and ties or better. It is amazing that somewhere around +19 is the cutline every year no matter how many players compete. Woebegone bubble boys (+20), Dillon Hakes and Todd Muchnick were extremely saddened by the news.
Six threesomes and one 4some would play the back tees to determine the royal blue jacket winner and the first three teed off at approximately 3:50pm. The top 9 scores, final 3 groups, have a roving scoreboard exhibiting where they are in reference to par. They were: Harry Schroeder +13, Katy Barrett +12, and Murray Hickman +11; Carl Gaglione +11, Jason Kirste +11 and Russ Schroeder +9; Rob Mullaney +7, Philip Tom +7, and Kevin Scroggins +7. Astonishingly 8 rookies made the cut. (Kevin Scroggins, Jim Burke, Mike Ryan, Tex Barch, James Derella, Mitch Kemper, Ken Cox and Murray Hickman Jr.)
The leaders were only 12 shots better than the last man to make the cut. The Lakeshore course is the one course of the 5 Majors, where that kind of deficit, realistically can be made up. After the front nine, out of nowhere, teaching pro Jim Burke was on his way to do just that. He had 4 birdies and a double to be 2 under +17, for the tournament. He shot a masterful 58 and ended +23 and was the early leader in the clubhouse. The buzz commenced that if the leaders were to succumb to the beleaguered attacks of the back nine, that score may just hold up. Veteran Thomas Buonomo and superb ball striker, would have none of it. He came in awhile later at +22. Thomas had a major controversy on understanding the rule on the famous 18th hole. His interpretation cost him as much as 6 strokes and possibly a blue jacket. His mistake has been copied a number of times in the Lakeshore as the pressure of the moment, causes rube-like behavior. Kenny Ebalo claims it cost him a blue jacket in 2010 and Harry Schroeder WON the blue jacket in 2009 because he knew the rule. Easily, if your first tee shot goes thru the fence and not over it, it is in-play. These players did not get Roberto DeVencenzo-ed, DQed, because they did not sign an incorrect scorecard. In golf, you can always declare your ball unplayable or lost and play another from the same spot with penalty of stroke and distance. Thomas may lose some sleep until the 2014 Lakeshore!
But the real noise of the early leaders was what Russ Schroeder, btw no relationship to blue jacket winner Harry, was doing. He was only 13 over at the end of 28 holes. Then I am afraid, he had an epiphany. As he stepped to box of the demonic 11th hole, he could taste the jacket. That is a real bad thing to do until the dealing is done. Overwhelmed with the life altering Major championship, he couldn’t find the dish and carded a 9 and in all but screaming……was out of the tournament.
The final 3some, Rob, Phil the Chairman, and Kevin were in a severe battle on the front 9. After Phil took a 5 shot lead after 3, Rob and Kevin put their game in full gear. Phil relinquished his lead on the 6th hole after back to back double bogies. When Robbie eagled the demure 8th, he had a 4 shot lead over the Chairman. Not has been written about the 9th hole at the Lakeshore, but it has been the nemesis of many blue jacket pursuers. It is here where Rob lost his concentration for only a moment…..but that was too long. After 2 rather poor lashes, he had to hit 5 from the tee box. After finding the crease of the fence line, he recorded a 9 and in all but the screaming……..was out of the tournament. Phil carded a par on nine and even though he was only 3 shots ahead of Rob, the murmuring in the gallery sensed correctly, that it was now a 2 horse race between the Chairman and rookie, and also teaching pro, Kevin Scroggins.
Kevin Scroggins is a pure striker of the ball. With only a few practice rounds under his belt, he was painting a masterpiece at the Lakeshore. His dreadful hooding of a tee shot on 6, was possibly the only mistake he had in the championship round. He kept staying close to the pre-tournament favorite Chairman (3-2) and as we all know, no lead is safe on the back nine of a Major. As Phil stepped to box at number 17, he had a 5 shot lead. The Chairman then displayed why he is the number 1 ranked player in the world at the Lakeshore. In front of a huge gallery in attendance, the Chairman bumped and ran a 2 hopper into the narrow fairway, up the slight embankment, and center cut the hole for a ace. In essence, with this elixir, it was over. For the first time in the 14th year of the Lakeshore, the 18th hole did not determine the winner. Phil won his 6th royal blue jacket by a record 10 shots.
This is the real secret of life-to be completely engaged with what you doing in the here and now. And instead of calling it work, realize it is play. – Alan Watts (Author of "THE WAY OF ZEN"
The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play. – Arnold J. Toynbee
In the history of all majors, I can say none others have ever ended the way the 2012 Lakeshore Open did on Saturday afternoon. The course was dried out and extremely fast because the Committee decided to have the last watering on Thursday night. It was brutal! 26 players made the cut (+22) and only 5 scored better from the tips on the 2nd round. The back tees played over 9 shots more difficult per player and it is only 24 yards longer. When you stretch this demon all the way out to 444 yards it is truly amazing how much a small yardage difference makes.
78 golfers teed off Saturday to challenge their short game skills. At the end of the first round Rob Mullaney (+4) had a one stroke lead over Mike O’Donnell and Matthew Tom. Lurking nearby were blue jacket winners Phil Tom (+7), Josh Vornsand (+9) and Harry Schroeder (+10). The tradition breaker Katy Barrett was tied in 11th position at (+17), well below the +22 cutline. Congratulation to her and all of her hard work.
As the afternoon championship round commenced, the galleries could sense that the scores were going to skyrocket for most of the least experienced players. When the groups moved through to the treacherous back 9, there were only a handful left who could secure the royal blue jacket. Phil Tom was lapping the field as he birdied 12,13, and 14 to go down to +4 for the tournament and 3 under on the back 18. The only golfers left within shouting distance as he teed up on 15 were: Mullaney +14, O’donnell +14, and Vornsand +14…10 shots back. The 15th ‘dog run’ was about to show his ugly teeth to the 5 time jacket winner. With the speed conditions and the rough trampled down from all the galleries and players, it was virtually unplayable. It is always the second most difficult hole every year to #18. Phil could not find an area to keep his ball in bounds on his first 3 tee shots. He managed to find OB three of the 4 places to do it on this diabolical gem. He did manage to card a 9 to push his total to +10, still 4 shots better than anyone else. As Phil ventured down the 16th fairway, Mullaney was doing his best to tame 15. His first ball went out long but he incredibly found one of the few safe places for his second tee ball……..the hole….to card a par 3!
Phil tripled bogeyed the 18th to gather sanctuary in the clubhouse at +12. Now no other golfer could prevent him from his 6th jacket except Mullaney. Rob parred 17th to take the lonely walk to the 18th tee box at +14. He had to ‘ace’ the most famous par 3 in the world to draw even with Phil. The movement with the cameramen and gallery was delaying the obvious attempt that Rob knew he had to take. He stepped away 3 times from the box to gather his thoughts. He lined it up and then made an aggressive lash at the sphere and sent it some 15 feet in the air down the famed fairway. All eyes were glued as it came arching down towards the stop sign. The ball cleared the sign and just ‘ticked’ the very end of the supporting post to record the HOLE IN ONE! The stunned audience did not know how to react at first but then broke out into a huge applause at what they just witnessed. This has to be one of, if not, the best shot in golf history! I don’t believe that Rob could complete this feat exactly the way he did if he tried one million more attempts.
The Lakeshore has the same format as the British Open when it comes to a playoff. Play 4 holes (#1,#4,#11, and #18) cumulative score. Phil parred the first 2 holes while Rob bogeyed them to give him a 2 stroke lead. They both bogeyed #11 to go to the 18th with the same difference. Rob parred with a beautiful fairway shot and Phil had to go over the fence for his double bogey to create the tie once more after 40 holes. Even though Phil is still the #1 ranked player in the world at the Lakeshore, Rob is slightly better at finding the fairway on 18. He did it again on the 5th playoff hole and Phil did not. Rob Mullaney won his 4th Royal Blue Jacket. Both players walked off the course into the clubhouse and Chairman’s Cabin exhausted.
1. ROB MULLANEY: 58-62=120 (+12)*
1. PHILIP TOM: 61-59=120 (+12)
3. JOSH VORNSAND: 63-60=123 (+15)
4. MIKE O’DONNELL: 59-70=129 (+21)
4. HARRY SCHROEDER: 64-65=129 (+21)
6. THOMAS BUONOMO: 67-68=135 (+27)
7. DUSTY ALLEN: 71-65=136 (+28)
8. KATY BARRETT: 71-67=138 (+30)
9. MATHEW TOM: 59-80=139 (+31)
10. BRIAN COFFEY: 67-77=144 (+36)
10. GARY HAGEN: 68-76=144 (+36)
10. TODD MUCHNICK: 72-72=144 (+36)
13. ROBERT TOM: 76-70=146 (+38)
14. ANDY MILLER: 71-77=148 (+40)
15. MIKE MULLALLY: 75-75=150 (+42)
16. ERIK ANTIN: 73-80=153 (+45)
17. JAMESON BAUMAN: 74-81=155 (+47)
18. RUSS SCHROEDER: 74-84=158 (+50)
19. JIM GREEN: 71-88=159 (+51)
20. BRANDT ENGLAND: 71-89=160 (+52)
21. GREG HAMPSON: 75-86=161 (+53)
22. JAY GOUGAR: 73-92=165 (+57)
23. RICK JEWETT: 74-94=168 (+60)
23. RANDY BOLLA: 66-102=168(+60)
25. MARK TOM: 75-95=170 (+62)
26. MURRY HICKMAN: 76-96=172 (+64)
What may turn out to be the most exciting Lakeshore Open ever, commenced on Saturday, September 24th, 2011. It was a beautiful day that only had a brief threat of rain. Thankfully the clouds were angry for only a short period.
56 players accepted the challenge to test their game on the most difficult par 3 course in the world.
At the end of first round (18 holes), only 7 strokes separated the top eleven players. Rob Mullaney had a one shot lead 58 (+4) over Matthew Tom 59 (+5). Nearing the end of 27 holes, only a few shots disunited Mullaney, M. Tom, Jason Kirste, Carl Gaglione, Pat Laverty, and Kenny Ebalo. At this point, Philip ‘the Chairman’ Tom was finishing up with a stellar 59 final round to post a 124 (+16). He was the leader in the clubhouse some 45 minutes to an hour before the final group. For a brief moment it looked like that score may hold up. One by one, the leaders were collapsing on the back nine of the Lakeshore. But remember; you are supposed to find difficulty on the back nine of a MAJOR! The inexperience was showing its ugly teeth. Nerves were frayed and dreams were lost. Huge galleries were adding to the soup of the confusion. Everyone was searching frantically for the elusive birdies and pars. They were not to be found for most.
There emerged two exceptions. Pat Laverty, one of the best ball strikers in the area and a veteran of 3 U.S. Senior Opens, was painting a masterpiece. After he ‘aced’ the extremely difficult 6th hole, he went on a terror. He ended up shooting one under on the back nine for a record tying even par 54 to post (+7) for the tournament. With 4 holes remaining only Rob Mullaney could catch him. Rob was also at (+7) and would have to par out to tie. Incredibly, that is exactly what he did to force the first playoff for the jacket in Las Vegas history.
Under Lakeshore tie-breaking format, the golfers will play four holes (1,4,11,18). Their cumulative score will determine the winner.
Both made 3 on the first hole. Rob chipped in out of the high rough on 4 for par to take a two shot lead. This will go down as one of the greatest shots in Lakeshore lore. You would have had to be in the gallery to appreciate the tension and the beauty of that shot. On 11, Rob knocked his tee ball out of bounds and made 5 while Pat bogeyed to keep Rob in the lead as they approached the famed 18th hole. Both proceeded to hit their first tee balls out of bounds and their second tees over the fence. Pat had a good break as his ball stayed in the fence line where he could somehow get a club on it. He then showed why he was there and knocked it down for a bogey. Rob would now have to get down it 2 to continue the event. He did and they took that lonely walk back to the 18th tee for what now is ‘sudden death’. They had a troublesome way fighting through the press corp and the spectators but they finally managed to tee it up again. Pat hit first and proceeded to hit it out of bounds again. Rob laced a feathery pitch into the center of the fairway and it was mostly over except the singing. Rob Mullaney had captured his third Royal Blue Jacket.
Please observe how much more difficult the championship tees (2nd round) were for most of the golfers. Only 5 players played better on the back 18. 23 players made the playing cut this year. An unprecedented 4 players were selected as ‘honorable mention’ and will have their names engraved on the hallowed Lakeshore Trophy. They are: Carl Gaglione, Jason Kirste, Dusty Allen, and Paul Robarts. Congratulations. — Chairman Make-A-Wish Lakeshore Open Golf Tournament Committee
These days, it is rare to sponsor an event upon where there aren’t any losers. Saturday, September 25th 2010, was a day it happened. Make-A-Wish won, the volunteers won, the participants won, and definitely, the golf course won!
64 players teed it up at the 11th annual Lakeshore Open Golf Tournament in beautiful Las Vegas, Nevada. For one day that passed for what seemed like a twinkling of an eye, the partakers got to feel like children again and have some old fashioned “FUN”. As I have said a number of times, the Lakeshore has to be experienced. It is not enough to just read about it every year wishing you were there. One player in particular, Alex Prywes, heard of the tournament one day before and flew into the event from California the next day to play. He said “I just had to be there to see what it was about”. I have a tremendous respect for that type of flexibility and behavior. Too little of that in our society today. The Make-A-Wish children cherish every day and I’m sure they wish they could do for just one day what we take for granted.
There were many surprises on the golf course Saturday. As I noted in an earlier letter, only 21 players made the ‘playing cutline’, but 14 additional players made the ‘normal cut’. The players cutline was +18 (72) while the normal cut was +24 (78). The normal cut players will still be able to tell their grandchildren that they once made the cut in the 5th MAJOR. These players were: Karl Mitchell (68 WD Illness) Jason Smith (69 WD Illness)R, Wes Butterfus (69 WD Illness)R, Jason Kirste (73), Erik Larsen (74), Howard Muchnick (74)R, Jim Heringer (74), Mike Silva (74)R, Carl Gaglione (74), Fred Weiss (75), Darin Koehler (75)R, Rick Berg (76), John Sieberg (78), Brian Coffey (78).
Note: My deepest regret for misinforming Paul Ruth over the phone that his (72) did not qualify for the playing cutline. With the confusion of the sudden illnesses of some cut players I gave him some bad info. He will now be given a permanent exemption to the event and a private tour of the Chairman’s Cabin.
For only the 3rd time in the Lakeshore’s 11 year history, a rookie won the event. Josh Vornsand a ‘mini tour pro’ player, shocked the veterans by keeping his poise after leading the first 18 to shoot 13 over par (121). Kenny Ebalo, another mini tour pro, was only one shot back as he approached the 36th hole, but he was 2 groups ahead of Vornsand. He carded a quadruple bogey 7 and Vornsand later parred 18 to seal a 5 shot victory. Honorable mention this year went to another rookie Greg Hampson and he willed be honored with his name on the Lakeshore trophy.
POINTS OF INTEREST: 17 of the 35 players who made the cut were rookies (new record)—All 18 holes played higher than par stroke average—the 18th played to an amazing 6.83 average and remember it’s a par 3!- this is considerably down from its record average 2 years ago of 8.67 shots;the 12”high rough helped—the average score of all the players in the first round (blue tees) was 78.78—for the 21 players who made the cut, the average was 65.38 and their second round average (gold tees) was 73.00—almost 8 shots higher average and the gold tees are only an astounding 24 yards longer (444-420) than the blues for the entire course.
Here is the final leaderboard for the 2010 Lakeshore:
Josh Vornsand(R): 56, 65: +13
Kenny Ebalo(R): 63, 63: +18
Chip Madsen: 63, 64: +19
Frankie D. Larsen: 59, 68: +19
Greg Hampson(R): 69, 61: +22
Rob Mullaney: 64, 66: +22
Matthew Tom: 62, 69: +23
Philip Tom: 66, 66: +24
Layne Flack(R): 65, 69: +26
Larry Keaver: 65, 0: +27
James Drew(R): 72, 4: +28
Harry Schroeder: 67, 69: +28
Mike O’Donnell(R): 71, 66: +29
Cole Nondorf(R): 72, 67: +31
Marty Barrett(R): 64, 7: +33
Pat Laverty(R): 63, 81: +36
Gary Hagen: 63, 81: +36
Jarrod Dolojan(R): 68, 84: +44
Jeff Fickel: 70, 84: +46
Tyler Raasch(R): 61, 97: +50
Rickster Jewett: 70, 102: +64
Only 4 players shot better on their second round. Once again the Lakeshore proved it is the most difficult golf course in the universe and worthy of the 5th MAJOR Chairman Of The Make-A-Wish Lakeshore Open Golf Tournament Committee
Harry Schroeder shocked the golfing world and won the 2009 Lakeshore Open and his first royal blue jacket. Always a perennial first round contender, Schroeder finally put together back to back rounds in the 50’s to set a new tournament 36 hole record of +9. He was in the clubhouse a good half hour before the then current leader, Matt Tom collapsed. Tom, playing in the final group, believed he had a 3 shot lead after he bogeyed both 16 and 17 as he approached the famed 18th hole. Instead he only had a 2 shot lead and then, as is the case in almost every Lakeshore, butchered the 18th with a quintuple bogey snowman (8) to finish 3 shots back. All of the exciting action was caught on film and will be forthcoming soon.
For the 3rd time in Lakeshore history we have dual honorable mentions that will have their names engraved on the trophy. Right off the plane Saturday morning and onto the course was a gentleman named Todd Muchnick from St. Louis, Missouri. He had never played the course and in his first round broke Phil Hellmuth’s initial 18 hole record of +10 with a stellar +8 (62). His second round he fired a +6 (60) to finish only 5 shots back of the winner. I may have to reconsider my dogmatic stance that no one can win this tournament with no practice rounds. This is truly one of the most remarkable feats in Lakeshore lore. I witnessed his 2nd round with my own eyes as I was paired with him. He should probably consider playing in the other 4 majors now that he qualified by finishing in the top 10.
The other honorable mention was another rookie named Gary Hagen. He is a distant relative of the hard-living, dashing, partying 11 time major winner Sir Walter Hagen. Gary exhibits some of the similar traits that Walter possessed. Walter was not a particularly good ball striker. His driving was erratic and it was once said that he played more bad shots in one year than Harry Vardon did in his career. But his short game was a revelation. His powers of recovery were immense. If he missed a green in regulation he would usually get up and down in two. Sir Walter was golf’s greatest showman, a flamboyant, princely romantic who captivated the public and his peers with sheer panache. He often said “I never wanted to be a millionaire, I just wanted to live like one”. Hagen once expressed his creed in these words: “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way”. I am absolutely positive that Sir Walter Hagen would have enjoyed playing in the Lakeshore. Gary, who worked harder than Vijay Singh in his preparation for this Lakeshore, was elated that he finished 6th in his first try. I will go out on a limb and predict that Gary will win a royal blue jacket if he plays at least 20 more years.
Other persons of interest were John Sieberg’s record tying first round of even par (54) and the appearance and playing of Make-A-Wish recipient Matt Snodgrass. You can read Matt’s incredible story on mattsnodgrass.org .
There were 50 golfers in this year’s event with 25 making the cut.
I plan on writing much more about this year’s Lakeshore Open, but for now, here are some of the finishing scores:
Harry Schroeder, 58-59=117, +9
Mathew Tom, 57-63=120, +12
Philip Tom, 61-60=121, +13
Todd Muchnick, 62-60=122, +14
Rob Mullaney, 65-57=122, +14
Gary Hagen, 66-61=127, +19
John Sieberg, 54-74=128, +20
Matt Snodgrass, 58-71=129, +21
Frank Larsen, 64-66=130, +22
Carl Gaglione, 66-69=135, +27
Brian Coffey, 71-67=138, +30
Rick Jewett, 75-74=149, +41
Pat Mckenna, 81-68=149, +41
John Guthrie, 74-78=152, +44
Chip Madsen, 74-79=153, +45
Paul Olsen, 78-77=155, +47
Dan Fisher, 81-74=155, +47
Jack Haynes, 77-79=156, +48
Brian Hicks, 75-85=160, +52
Keith Leisher, 65-100=165, +57
Paul Raidna, 86-82=168, +60
A couple of major changes on the famed 18th hole dramatically lowered the overall average score from 8.67 strokes to 5.97. One of the some 20 species of Scottish ‘gorse’ was flown in last month and planted on the left side of the fairway. It was dense and effective in keeping well struck shots in play. The fairway was moved to the right side and additionally on the right side of the fence within 15 feet before and after the hole. Even with these changes on the 18th, the overall cut line was the highest in history at +33 (88).
The first round (18 holes) had some shocking results. Notable favorites Harry Schroeder, Jeff Fickel, and Brett Calapp were well back in the field at 81,83, and 108 respectively. Matthew Tom feeling the nerves as one of the favorites started with a 4-7-3-9-10 and was 17 over par after the first 5 holes. There will be more on this young phenom later in this article. The only golfer who tamed the Lakeshore monster was 2006 blue jacket winner Rob Mullaney. Rob set the Lakeshore competitive record of even par (54) and had a stunning 11 shot lead over 3 golfers in second place (Frank Larsen, Philip Tom, and Karl Mitchell). As many Lakeshore veterans know, 11 shots is a big lead but it is anything but safe. Other interesting first round scores were Keith Leisher, rookie (72), A. Cohen, rookie (85), and blue jacket hopeful Paul Raidna (88). Paul’s odds plummeted Friday evening as he shot a 33 with a 9 in a practice round front nine. He went from 150-1 to 18-1 to win on Saturday morning. All in all it set up as an exciting final round for the championship.
At the end of 27 holes the leaders were:
Rob Mullaney: +6
Frank Larsen: +10
Philip Tom: +15
Karl Mitchell: +17
Thru 15 holes on the back 18, the tournament tightened up considerably to:
Rob Mullaney: +8
Frank Larsen: +10
Philip Tom: +13
Karl Mitchell: +22
But then a rumor then hit the course the Matt Tom shot a record round -4 (50) and was in the clubhouse at +10. The rumor was false but the confusion was not cleared up until the leaders approached the the 18th tee box. Matt in fact had shot 57 to be at +17. Anyway Rob and Frank teed off on 18 deadlocked at +10. Frank teed first and hit a beauty into the gorse on the left but it took 2 hops and then barely trickled out of bounds onto Bannie Ave. Rob then send a good looking shot into the same gorse that held on. Robbie then proceeded to make par and claim his second blue jacket of his career. By the way, Rob had no plans of winning this year as he got a call from his wife and had to leave immediately after the jacket presentation and did not return to the after party. Speculation was he had to pick up milk and bread on his way home.
Keith Leisher was selected by the Lakeshore committee as Honorable Mention and will have his named placed on the trophy as such.
Here is the list of the top 14 finishers.
Rob Mullaney: 54-64=118: +10
Frankie D. Larsen: 65-57=122: +14
Matthew Tom: 68-57=125: +17
Philip Tom<: 65-61=126: +18
Karl Mitchell: 65-69=134+26
Harry Schroeder: 81-60=141: +33
Keith Leisher: 72-70=142+34
Louis Winoski: 78-83=161: +53
Kurt Goldberg: 88-76=164: +56
Paul Olsen: 88-77=165: +57
Brian Schmid: 76-89=166: +58
Kasey Thompson: 88-81=169: +61
Paul Raidna: 87-82=169: +61
Jeff Fickel: 83-87=170: +62
This 2008 event was a huge success. We raised a lot of money for Make-A-Wish, which is a great cause. The party afterwards brought many great friends back together and also introduced people to new acquaintances. Hopefully we can conduct this unique event for many years to come. Thanks again for all of your support and help. – Chairman Lakeshore South Open Golf Committee
Wow, what an exciting Lakeshore again. We had temperatures in the high 80s with an ideal gentle breeze. The course got rave reviews and was in the best condition ever. There were 35 golfers in this years field and the first 3some teed off at approximately 11:00am.
The first 18 holes had many attendees in ‘shock’ for two reasons. The course record of +5 (59) was tied by and unknown rookie, Karl Mitchell, and perennial cut-misser Bill Lakel. An investigation was immediately filed in the Lakel 59. It just so happened that he played in the only 4some of the day with 2 college students and someone with a known gambling problem. I am not trying to say with certainty that someone got paid off in this column recap but something does not smell right. Bill does possess a sound game for usually 12 holes or so before he blows up. For him to shoot 59 under the pressure and rough conditions of the Lakeshore Open defies all odds. He would have to have a round where all things went perfect similar to the ‘father’ in Caddyshack. Anyway, Bill did not win the tournament so the ongoing inquiry will soon be a mute point.
18 players made the cut and the cut-line was +29. This set the stage for another memorable quest for the royal blue jacket. Karl Mitchell continued his excellent play early on and built a big lead on the field. One-time winner Frankie D. Larsen went into #9 at +12 and carded a ‘moose’ seven over par 10 to severely damage his chances. At the end of 27 holes the leaders were:
Jeff Fickel who shot 68 in the early round had a disasterous 48 +21 over the front nine and was in essence out of the tournament.
But we should all know that the back nine of the final round of a Major is where it is won or lost. No exception again at this years Lakeshore. Karl went into # 17 with a 7 shot lead over playing partner and 4-time winner Phil Tom. Phil pared 17 and Karl double-bogied to go to the famed and the extremely difficult 18th with a 5 shot lead. Nothing was being said as the golfers took the long walk to the 18th tee. The gallery was barely audible also as they sensed what the rookie Karl was going through. The cocky 6-5 favorite Phil Tom was getting soundly beaten by a 25-1 longshot. Karl had played 35 holes of perfection but that meant very little with the teeth of 18 staring him in the face. His masterpiece only had 2.7% more to go for the royal blue jacket. He had numerous options on how to play the ‘monster’. He had no one to turn to for advice except himself. Should he ‘bunt’ his first drive and then go over the fence and try to make a 7 or 8 at the worst? Or should he swing away and possibly hit the fairway and leave no doubt who the champion will be? The 18th has determined every Lakeshore except the 2002 playoff. Second guessing will always be part of what was about to transpire.
Phil had to hit first and he had to gamble being 5 shots back. He concentrated and released a full swing and the ball took a few hops and rested in the fairway some 15 feet from the pin. By the way, the fairway is 18 inches wide. Karl then gathered his thoughts and took a big swing. His ball went barely over the fence and came to rest in a crease only 2 inches from being in bounds. He now had to hit his third shot from the same tee. His next shot went over the fence in good shape. Phil then proceeded to get up and down for a par 3. Karl’s 4th gained on the pin but was still on the wrong side of the fence. His 5th went under the fence leaving him only 7 feet from the hole but he had an abbreviated back swing. Here he will be second guessed forever. Instead of taking a penalty stroke and putting his ball in the fairway, he elected to hit it some 18 inches by the hole into deep rough. His 7th and 8th shots missed the hole and he carded a 9. This left him one shot back of Phil and Phil won his 5th blue jacket.
Karl’s 9 is totally understandable. The hole averaged 8.67 strokes last year. I took an eleven last year to lose for gods sake. Playing the 18th with a chance to win is what brings players to the Lakeshore every year. I want to personally congratulate Karl for taking me to my best. We both broke the previous Lakeshore South tournament record and as many of my friends will quickly point out, I have played the course a few hundred times more than Karl. What he accomplished I did not feel possible before the tournament but I saw it with my own eyes. He had no blemish on the back nine with the exception of the 18th. His name will go on the trophy as runner-up and Bill Lakel is this years honorable mention.
Thanks again for a great Lakeshore and hopefully we will have many more to come.– Chairman Lakeshore South Open Golf Tournament
Final Leaderboard 2007 Lakeshore South
Phil Tom: 61-63=124: +16
Karl Mitchell: 59-66=125: +17*
Frankie D Larsen: 67-61=128: +20
Rob Mullaney: 68-60=128: +20
Bill Lakel: 59-76=135: +27
Larry Keever: 78-68=146: +38*
Ed Wake: 68-80=148: +40
Harry Schroeder: 76-76=152: +44
Brian Coffey: 76-80=156: +48
John Pogue: 81-80=161: +53
Eric Saltz: 74-90=164: +56*
Phil Waller: 74-92=166: +58*
Drew Johnson: 74-92=166: +58*
Bob Tom: 77-89=166: +58
Greg Blessley: 73-95=168: +60*
Jeff Fickel: 68-104=172 +64
Mike Purpura: 81-98=179: +71
By Robert Calhoun, The Associated PressLAS VEGAS, NV—-I had the privilege of attending one of the most unusual events in the over 35 years of my reporting. It is extremely rare to attend or participate in an activity that to my knowledge is not copied or repeated in any place on the face of the earth. This endeavor is so uncustomary that I find it difficult to make it translatable. The effrontery genteel left me with a inodorousness that I still have not overcome. Peering through the epistemology of all ladles of print accessible did not help. I abdicate the calumny barbed my mind in totality.Knavish harangues got trumped by the purest form of golf I have ever attested. Congrats to the authors and players and yes, I plan to observe again next year.
To the village:
As you probably can surmise Dr. Calhoun got blown away with the Lakeshore
South Open. The Lakeshore as always did not disappoint. With the
temperatures in the high 80’s and low 90’s it was a beautiful day. With
honorary ‘big play’ Mark Anderson hitting the proverbial first ball off the
first tee, the tournament got started at 11:23am on Saturday, September
30th. The course was in the best shape ever with tightly mowed fairways and
green colored greens. The field included 14 rookies vying for the royal blue
jacket and Lakeshore infamy. A record 6 rooks make the cut.
The first 18 holes went pretty much according to hoyle. Favorite Phil Tom
shot a course record (61) and had a nine shot lead over second favorite Rob
Mullaney (70). Not far behind was rookie Tim O’keefe (72). Others in the
70’s were: Big Time Bob Tom (75), one-time champion Frankie D. Larsen (76),
one-time runner-up Matt Tom (76) and rookie Andy Slack (77). The other
rookies making the cut were: Ed Wake (81), Brett Calapp (84), Jeff
Battaglia (86) and Jeff Hurst (87). Last years’ first round leader Dr. Harry
Schroeder carded an (82) to make the cut again.
Going into the championship 18, Phil looked to runaway from the field as he
was 2 under after the 4th hole and was 10 shots ahead of Rob. Only at the
exciting Lakeshore does this mean very little. Every hole has demons and
vinegary locations. The difficulty of the Lakeshore keeps many in contention
until the end. After Rob birdied the 8th and 9th holes for a record 1 under
26 on the front side he was only 2 shots back.
The back nine, as in every major, is where it is won or lost. Rob took his
first lead by one stroke after he birdied the tough #11. Phil got the lead
back on #12 by a stroke and Rob got it back on the #13 by a stroke. Phil got
it back by a stroke on #14 and Rob tied it up with a par on #15. Both
golfers parred #16 but was not achieved without controversy. Rob’s ball came
to rest on the lip of the cup and after much discussion and valuation by two
marshalls, Rob was awarded the par. #17 saw Rob once again take a one shot
lead when his par bested Phil’s bogey. But as in every Lakeshore, Seattle or
Las Vegas location, the 18th hole determines the winner. Rob had honors and
hit a beautiful tee ball 2/3 up the fairway. With tremendous pressure on
Phil to find the fairway he proceeded to hit 2 balls onto Bannie avenue and
the royal blue jacket belonged to Rob Mullaney for the first time. Rob
bogeyed #18 and carded a new Lakeshore record of (59). By the way the
average score on the famed 18 was a 8.67 strokes –5+ over par. Would have
been higher if 14 wasn’t the maximum on the hole.
For only the second time in Lakeshore history we will have 2 honorable
mentions inscribed on the Lakeshore trophy. Rookies Jeff Hurst and Edward
Wake fininished 5th and 6th respectfully. Jeff’s (68) on the back 18 is a
rookie record for the championship round.
Notables missing the cut were: Sir Wm Lakel whose dipsomania once again took
its toll, Brian Coffey whose promotion to course superintendant must have
got in the way, and last years’ Jess Coffey whose (91) just missed. Jess
Olsen set a record for high score of (132) and has a personal exemption for
next year because of it. Paulie Gutwein whose lifetime goal is to someday
make the cut barely missed at (94). Ronnie Schmid has the distinction of
being the only player this year who had to walk off the course on the
dog-run #15 because of frustration. Jack Haynes who was the longshot in the
field at-infinite to 1 to win, recorded a very respectable (96). Next year
he promises to be around a 50-1 shot.
Rob Mullaney: 70-59=129
Phil Tom: 61-76=137
Matt Tom: 76-62=138
Frankie D.: 76-64=140
Jeff Hurst: 87-68=155
Ed Wake: 81-75=156
Jeff Fickle: 80-79=159
Tim O’keefe: 72-87=159
Collin Jones: 81-79=160
BT Bob Tom: 75-90=165
Harry Schroeder: 82-87=169
Brett Calapp: 84-86=170
Andy Slack: 77-95=172
Jeff Battaglia: 86-87=173
George Herold: 83-106=189
Notes: One new tradition that may take hold is that the winner have sex with his wife or girlfriend on the 12th fairway at the party the evening of the tournament. It is understandable because the winner gets: 1) the royal blue jacket 2)name on the Lakeshore Trophy 3)permanent exemption to the Lakeshore tournament 4)sets menu at championship dinner next year 5)undeserved fame from the boys in the booth 6)google entry of Lakeshore champion 7)multiple endorsement options 8)Jay Leno interview 9)Make-A-Wish donation and of course 10)sex with your favorite gal on the 12th fairway One more note: A new rule will be instituded this year for next and will be until further notice. Anyone who without a doubt committs to the Lakeshore Tournament and does not have the courtesy to email or call the Chairman to cancel within 48 hours of the event, loses his exemption for the following year. Those of you who are guilty know who you are. I would make a large bet that each of you have never planned a large party, tournament or anything else in your life.
Thanks for everyone who attended the golf outing and the party. It was a wonderful time. – Chairman of the Lakeshore South Open Golf Tournament Committee
The Lakeshore Open was played on schedule on July 4th at 11:30 a.m. The skies were blue and temperature 105 degrees. Flags were blowing at a NW direction. The course looked tame for the taking but the veterans knew otherwise. The Lakeshore cannot be conquered. It can only be tested and you almost certainly will have to surrender. The peacefulness is only experienced if you do not pick up a golf club. In other words the serenity is only a mirage. No one tames the Lakeshore. It makes scratch golfers look like beginners often. It is undoubtedly the most difficult par 3 course in America.
Always in the back of your mind as you weave your way through the Lakeshore is the terrifying knowledge that you will have to play the 18th hole. This year the Lakeshore Committee approved for the first time a maximum of 14 shots on any hole. The par 3 18th hole this year averaged 9.428 strokes. Would have been much worse if the 14 max. was not instituted. The first 17 holes are important but a masterpiece can be ruined by the famed 18th. It did just that many times this year.
There were 7 rookies in the field and 2 or them made the cut. Jess Coffey, a sensational ballstriker, was rookie of the year and will get his name on the
Lakeshore trophy as honorable mention. Last years’ first round leader was again this years’ first round leader-Harry Schroeder. He fired a sizzling 66 to take a 4 shot lead into the championship round over Las Vegas resident Rob Mullaney. Harry again couldn’t handle the pressure of leading the Lakeshore and collapsed to a 92 on the back 18. Last years’ winner Frankie D. Larsen had a consistent 4th place with rounds of 73-74 147.
The Chairman of the Lakeshore Golf Open Committee who was a prohibitive favorite to win the royal blue jacket did not let the huge galleries down. After a opening 72 be came back in what is now patented form, to shoot the low round of the day of 63 to win going away. His 27 over par 135 shatters the high number to win by 7 shots. He was 1 over par going into the 18th and took an 11 for a 9 over 63.
The top 9 on the final leaderboard were as follows:
Phil Tom 72-63=135
Rob Mullaney 70-69=139
Scott Tom 80-66=146
Frankie D. Larsen 74-73=147
Rick Jewett 82-72=154
Harry Schroeder 66-92=158
Jess Coffey 83-80=163
Todd Coons 82-84=166
William R. Lakel 73-96=169
Note-You may notice the other collapse in the final round was by Bill Lakel.
Usually when he goes on tilt he throws a tantrum and walks off the course. This year he finished his 96 and silently sneaked into the TomBar and had a couple stiff ones. And whose says we don’t mature with age.
After the golf there was a big party on the course and in the clubhouse that
included a rock band, neighbors and friends. Mayor Oscar Goodman also stopped by for a pop.
I must give special thanks to this years’ sponsor AbsolutePoker. thanks again –Chairman of the Lakeshore Golf Open Committee
Lakeshore South went off as scheduled on September 11th in Las Vegas. The golf course was in perfect shape for a true test of skills. The rough was more difficult than what you would find in your typical u.s. open event. Some photos enclosed will give you a little example of what I am talking about.
Philip Tom the three time champion and prohibited favorite was in perfect position after the first 18 holes at 13 over par. First time competitor Harry Schroeder was leading with a brilliant 8 over that included two “aces”. Perennial challenger Scott Tom was among the many who missed the cut with a 37 over par. He carded a 15 on the famed 18th hole which played to an average of 13 or 10 over par for the entire field. No hole on any course in the world is as difficult as 18.
I am sad to report that Philip Tom had a monumental collapse on the back 18. His round included two “shanks” on the incredibly tight #5 alley hole. He ended up scoring his record high score of 40 over on the back 18. We will have to wait and see if he can ever recover from this performance. He had one bad hole after another and looked like at times as if he had never played the game.
Out of the pack came Frankie D. Larsen to challenge Harry for the royal blue jacket. With 6 holes to go it was a two man race. Both of these golfers have never led in a major let alone won one. Frankie saved par at #15 with a miracle shot from one of the many rose gardens. He hit a shot through the fence onto the smallest green on the course. Many analyst at the time thought he was crazy to even attempt a shot that maybe had a 10% chance of success. He pulled it off and eventually went to #18 with a five shot lead. Frank had to hit first and put a extremely conservative drive in the right rough-some 15 yards off the tee. Harry then hit one of the greatest shots in Lakeshore history at the pole of 18. It barely missed for a hole in one and came to rest in the rough some six feet from the pole. Harry pared the hole(only par of the day on 18) and forced Frank to make a 8 or better to win the tournament. Franks second shot of some 10 yards trickled through the left rough and barely stayed in bounds but fell into a crease between the rough and the street curb. He had to take an unplayable stoke to get the ball back into play. He then advanced the ball cautiously forward another 10 yards or so to put him 15 yards away. He had to get down in 3 for the championship and that is exactly what he did. Frank joined a short list of two others to win the jacket. He was so overwhelmed at the end he could barely control his emotions. He will now see how dramatically this will change his life. I spoke with him briefly today and it is just now starting to sink in what he accomplished. After all the radio and TV interviews he has had time to reflect. His life will never be the same.
Top five finishers were:
Frankie D. Larsen 128 +20
Harry Schroeder 129 +21
Keith Forslund 145 +37
Collin Jones 150 +42
Philip Tom 161 +53
I want to thank everyone for participating. On behalf of Make-A-Wish
Charity and the Lakeshore South Open Committee I hope we can host this
fun event for many years to come. –Chairman