These Kids Are Big Winners


Each week on the PGA Tour, a great deal of money is raised for charity. Sometimes the charities are local to the community where the tournament is played, sometimes the charity is nationally known, and sometimes it’s a combination of both. The major charity last week was Shriners Hospitals for Children.

In my humble opinion, the chain of hospitals does wonderful things for sick children and their families. As I can only imagine, there must be such a huge burden on any family that has to deal with the realization that their child is in a battle for his or her life. The Shriners Hospitals for Children help reduce that burden and create the processes and procedures, as well as provide information and equipment to help children return to as normal a lifestyle as possible. The organization is deeply committed to providing specialized care to children who qualify regardless of a family’s ability to pay, and the PGA Tour stop in Las Vegas benefitting it is a shining example of helping to “make everyday miracles possible for kids,” and I applaud them.

And there’s no better place to win like Las Vegas. While some of us enjoy the challenges of placing a wager, believe it or not, gambling is not a requirement for having a great time in Vegas.

I had tickets to see Elvis Presley, the pride of Tupelo, MS, in person. I was so excited that waiting for that nighttime performance had to be one of the longest days of my life. To help pass the time, longtime Southampton club professional Bob Joyce suggested I go to the Desert Inn Golf Club. I did, and much to my surprise, the head professional asked me what I had planned for the day. Of course, I proudly announced the I had tickets to see the King of Rock n’ Roll. The pro very generously asked if I would like to play a round at the Desert Inn, and, well, naturally, I gave him a resounding thumbs-up. But it gets better . . . I was invited to play in the Dean Martin foursome. Wow! By far my greatest day ever in Vegas.

Last week was a great one for Las Vegas resident and now hometown favorite Kevin Na. Na is a rare breed, to say the least. He left high school at 17, turned pro, then played around the world before securing his place on the U.S. Tour. With this win, he has four PGA Tour titles to his name.

Na has always been an uncanny putter, and in his victory in Vegas, he set a new record making a total of nearly 559 feet of putts for the week. The previous record of just over 551 feet was set back in 2015. Quite an accomplishment.

Na was born in Seoul, South Korea, but really enjoys living in the entertainment capital of the world. He is a good guy, as down-to-earth as can be. He doesn’t hit very long off the tee by today’s standards, but when Na gets that putter rolling, he’s as tough to beat as that Las Vegas blackjack table.

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