The Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open is under way with the first day of tournament play finished. An aptly named leader, Jhonattan Vegas, is tied with William McGirt at eight-under-par.
Vegas played well throughout the round, with some animated reactions following shots. McGirt was teeing off at the 16th hole in position to go for the course record, but no such luck occurred. Defending champion Jonathan Byrd finished even par.
UNLV alumni had difficulty getting into the red numbers: Chad Campbell, Chris Riley, and Charley Hoffman all finished at even par. Valley residents Scott Piercy, Kevin Na, Alex Cejka, and Nick Watney fared well with scores below par: – 4, – 4, – 6, and – 6, respectively.
Yesterday was the celebrity Pro-Am in which Justin Timberlake himself played along with George Lopez, Cedric the Entertainer and Trevor Immelman. This was the power foursome, in that it held the power over most spectators – for obvious reasons. Fashionable young women trailed the group, many in heels and salon styled hair, in hopes of catching an autograph or a treasured photo-opportunity. The group was in a humorous mood owing to the comedic talents of Lopez and Cedric, who regularly exchanged quips with the patrons and each other. There was even a slow clap started by Lopez to egg on Cedric at the 10th tee.
The golf was interesting: a professional doing well, a pop star matching many of the professional’s shots, and two comedians offering laughs at themselves and the horrendous state of their games. Cedric even joked, “I get a t-shirt saying I survived the Shriners,” after struggling to hit his drive in play and obviously feeling the heat – both metaphorically and literally.
The Immelman group was not the only one of interest – the professional golfers with ties to Las Vegas attracted locals’ attentions such as UNLV alumni, the city’s own residents, and one with the namesake Johnnie Vegas. The winning Pro-Am team however was the Charlie Wi group with amateurs Anthony Anderson, Bo Jackson, and Marshall Faulk managing to score a 15 under par – using best ball format.
Tickets are still available for tomorrow’s round as well as into the weekend. Advice to future spectators, bring some cash. After a couple of hours walking under the desert sun a tremendous thirst will develop and water is $3 a pop, but no outside food and beverage is allowed. Also – sunscreen.