It wasn’t long ago that Las Vegas was front and center on the PGA Tour. The Tournament of Champions, now played at Kapalua, was born here in 1953 and competed at the Desert Inn until 1966. Winners included Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.
Vegas also hosted a second Tour stop in the 1960s and 1970s, the Sahara Invitational, which the Golden Bear captured on four occasions. Tiger Woods snagged his first PGA Tour title in Sin City, at the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational at TPC Summerlin.
Now called the Shriners Hospital for Children Open, that perennial Nevada event reliably antes up an unexpected winner each fall. Patrick Cantlay defends his title at the Shriners this week.
But the show that’s really bringing sizzle back to the Strip will be unveiled No. 23, the Friday after Thanksgiving, when golf fans will feast on the Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson $9 million winner-take-all challenge match at Shadow Creek.
Blast it in neon: Las Vegas golf is prime-time once again.