Over the last few years, led by SNGA executive director Ann Sunstrum, each of the last 50 champions of the Las Vegas City Amateur have been pieced together. The list is compelling and includes a who’s who of amateur golfers in Southern Nevada, past and present. Among the names are those who went on to play professionally and/or collegiately, plus some lifelong amateur legends. Here’s the story and the list. –By Brian Hurlburt, Las Vegas Golf Insider.
“It’s the oldest amateur tournament in the city and it’s a major, so it is a very special part of Las Vegas golf history,” says Eric Dutt, the 1994 City Am champ. “Any good player from Las Vegas has won the tournament and there are some who haven’t. Who has won it, who plays in it and where it is played are what makes it so special. It has always been at ‘Muni’, so when you think about the Las Vegas City Amateur, you think of the course, just like when you think about The Masters, you think about Augusta National.”
Dutt won the City Am at age 35 while his brother, Mark, won it as a 17-year old in 1977. The two are the only brothers to win it.
Locals still refer to it as Muni, but a couple decades ago the name was changed to Las Vegas Golf Club. For a time, PGA Tour player and Senior PGA Tour player of the year Jim Colbert operated the course. As part of his deal to secure the management contract, the city asked him to return the PGA Tour back to Las Vegas, which he did in 1983 with the playing of the Panasonic Pro-Celebrity Classic. It was the first million-dollar purse in PGA Tour history at that time. In 2020, the event is known as the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and the total purse is $7 million. The event is played at TPC Summerlin.
Other notable champions include 9-time SNGA player of the year Brady Exber, who has a chance to win it in 2020 after first winning it in 1986, about 35 years ago. He also won it in 2000, 2005 and 2011.
Future PGA Tour players Robert Gamez (1988) and Edward Fryatt are former champs. Fryatt won it five times in a row from 1989-1993.
Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame inductees, besides Gamez, Dutt, Exber and Fryatt, who have won it are Louis Redden (1974-5, 1980), Eddie Draper (1971), Kim Dolan (1978) and Frank Acker (1997). More recently, UNLV stars AJ McInerney (2013, 2015) and Taylor Montgomery (2012, 2014) have won the event two times each. McInerney played in a few PGA Tour events and is now the UNLV men’s golf assistant coach. Montgomery, as of this writing, is 25th on the Korn Ferry Tour money list with a chance to earn his PGA Tour card for next season with a strong finish.
When Eric Dutt won, he battled future PGA Tour player Craig Barlow–another Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame member–and defeated him with a stunning stretch of 6-under par over six holes during the final round. He made two birdies and two eagles and a couple pars on holes 8-13.
“I didn’t play the Las Vegas City Amateur until I was later in life, but beating Craig Barlow, who was the cream of the crop back then, made the win even more special,” says Dutt, who played collegiately at Purdue.
Who is next to notch his name on the trophy? It will be determined Oct. 24-25, 2020, at the old course.
Note: Records show that Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame member Charlie Teel won the Las Vegas City Amateur seven times prior to the SNGA taking over operations of the event in 1966.
|1983||Carl Von Hake|
|1973||M orris Ferstman|