Inaugural Las Vegas City Am Week To Honor History, Define Champions
Inspired the oldest amateur tournament in Las Vegas, Southern Nevada Golf Association leaders have created Las Vegas City Am Week. The epic schedule will feature 10 days of tournaments for men, seniors and women at the historic Las Vegas Golf Club, which was established in 1938. –By Bill Bowman, www.lasvegasgolfinsider.com
Anchoring the week will be the 57th playing of the oldest men’s golf tournament in city history–the Las Vegas City Amateur. Among the most anticipated events will be the inaugural Las Vegas City Women’s Amateur.
(special note: official records show it will be the 57th LV City Am, but it is possible it dates farther back.)
In all there will be five events between with all of them being held at Las Vegas Golf Club, one of Vegas’ oldest courses which was established in 1938.
The Las Vegas City Amateur, the city’s oldest event which debuted under this name in 1965, will anchor the events and be held Oct. 29-30.
Also part of the schedule is the SNGA Tour stop at Las Vegas Golf Club, scheduled for Friday, Oct. 21.
That will set the stage for Saturday’s playing of the Las Vegas Champions Classic which will be held to benefit junior golf programs in Las Vegas.
Then there will be the inaugural Women’s City Amateur that will be held Sunday and Monday, Oct. 23-24.
The men’s senior and silver groups will then tee it up Thursday and Friday before the Las Vegas City Amateur closes things out over the weekend.
Kenny Ebalo, president of the SNGA, said the events are going to be nothing short of impressive.
“We really think this is going to be a great thing,” Ebalo said. “And Las Vegas Golf Club has really come on board. We came to them with the idea of adding a women’s am event and trying to tie everything in during one week and they were ready to go.”
Ebalo said the course is a natural.
“It’s such a historic place for everyone,” he said. “If you grew up here, you’ve probably played the course. It’s just iconic. Everyone can play the course. The Las Vegas City Amateur has a history of junior golfers winning the title and even seniors winning it. It’s just very playable.”
Tim Brand, the Assistant Executive Director for the SNGA, said a week like this one will certainly help grow the game of golf in Southern Nevada.
“The progression over the years has been to find ways to include more people and to give more people a chance at playing in such a historical event,” Brand said. “Now we will be including juniors and women. Pretty much every demographic of golfer is now covered and is now able to compete for the title of Las Vegas City Amateur Champion in their respective division or during their respective tournament.”
Brand added bringing all the different groups together is a fitting tribute.
“To be able to host all the tournaments during the same week is a very exciting proposition,” he said. “Within one week, we will crown a 2022 City Amateur champion, Senior City Amateur champion, Women’s City Amateur champion, and then in 2023 the junior am will be played during this special time. It is a very exciting idea and will help us continue to elevate the event to what it is and should remain–a premiere Las Vegas Golf championship.”
Renee Rocco, Executive Director of Southern Nevada Junior Golf, said getting the juniors into the act in 2023 is perfect.
“We are excited to move the event to align with the SNGA’s City Amateur,” Rocco said. “We have a great partnership with the SNGA and are looking forward to the potential for growth of the city am. It has a great history in the SNGA and we hope to be able to establish our own history like that for the juniors.”
On the women’s side, Women’s SNGA President Rusty Beckel said the ladies are more than happy to be part of the week-long golf event.
“Kenny Ebalo’s vision of creating a City Amateur Week and adding a Women’s City Amateur is an exciting addition and a wonderful new outlet for women’s competitive golf,” she said. “Being the first to have your name on this trophy will be making new history for many to follow.”
Ryan Humphreys, general manager at Las Vegas Golf Club, said the club is excited to play host to the tournaments. The course has hosted the Las Vegas City Amateur since its inception and in the summer of 2022 hosted the Nevada State Amateur.
“Events of this caliber are incredibly meaningful and it’s an honor to have the top amateur players compete here, showcasing our course and its conditioning,” he said. “This year will be extra special as we have the privilege of hosting the first Women’s City Amateur. When Ann (Sunstrum) and Kenny called and broached the idea of hosting this event, I was immediately on board and thrilled. I can’t wait to see the skill levels of Las Vegas’ top female amateurs as they take on the challenge of Las Vegas Golf Club. It’s the start of a new tradition.”
In the end, Ebalo said this tournament week is always one players circle on their calendar.
“The names on the City Am trophy are legendary,” he said. “You’ve got a whole lot of names who are in the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame, like Brady Exber, Ed Fryatt, Craig Barlow and a lot of others. You also have young players who might be in the Hall of Fame in the future, like AJ McInerny and Taylor Montgomery, who have won. And when they can, there are always UNLV golfers playing in this event. That’s how important it is.”
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