For Taylor Montgomery, a current Korn Ferry Tour player and former UNLV golfer, 2021 has dealt him a bad hand or two. He just missed earning his PGA Tour card–twice–but now a season-ending win at the Nevada Open Golf Championship held at the CasaBlanca in Mesquite, Nev. and a first prize of $31,350 has raised his spirits a bit. –By Brian Hurlburt. Photos Tyler Coop, Nevada Open.
“Winning the Nevada Open is terrific because I can basically play and pay for 75 percent of the events right off the bat next year with the check that I just won, which is very nice,” Montgomery said. “I am excited to start playing next year and my main goal during the off season is to get better ball striking wise. That is my total focus right now and it has been nice being able to practice quite a bit without many tournaments.”
Montgomery finished 26th on the Korn Ferry Tour points list and then 26th in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. A finish within the top 25 of either would have secured his 2021-22 PGA Tour playing privileges.
“Finishing 26th twice has to be some kind of record, right?” Montgomery said with a chuckle in mid-September when asked about it … again. “I am trying not to think about it anymore and just go forward the best I can. After like the first couple of days, all you think about is, ‘well, if I did this, if I did that.’ I’d say anybody inside the top 30 if they did just a few things here or there or caught a break, they would have qualified. And they’re probably thinking the same thing.”
At the Nevada Open, Montgomery used 18 birdies and two eagles over three rounds at the Palms and CasaBlanca courses. He also won the event in 2021.
“It is like déjà vu and feels a lot like last year, which is weird, because you don’t have that too many times in golf,” Montgomery said. “It’s always nice to get a win. I would say my play was very sporadic, but I got the job done. I hit a lot of really good shots and then I felt like I hit a lot of like horrific shots. I’ve been working on a few things with my coach (John Sinclair of Dallas), and it all hasn’t together yet. Sometimes I do things correctly and then other times I don’t. I am not used to the feeling, and you can see a huge difference when I actually make the correct swing and when I don’t.”
The Nevada Open is sponsored by the Mesquite Resort Association and the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino. Christian Adderson, Mesquite Gaming’s dual assistant general manager of the Virgin River and CasaBlanca, has a been a driving forces behind the event, which is a Mesquite and Nevada tradition.
“I am impressed again by how we consistently have a deep field of players at the Nevada Open,” Adderson said. “The final round was a great round of golf and we had plenty of players in contention. Taylor Montgomery is the first back-to-back champion that I can remember for the event. He is such a great player and a great champion for the Nevada Open. Mesquite and the CasaBlanca Resort and Casino continually show why Mesquite is such a great golf destination. The Nevada Open highlights not only the great golf courses of CasaBlanca and Palms, but also the great hospitality that the CasaBlanca Resort provides to the players who participate in the tournament. Our golf groups and individual golfers that come to the CasaBlanca Resort get to experience the same great golf and hospitality that the pros get to experience.”
Additional Nevada Open notes:
- Brian Wursten and his team along with Superintendents Jeff Martin, Palms Golf Club, and Matt Hewitt, CasaBlanca Golf Club, organized the event and had the courses in top-playing conditions
- USGA and SNGA rules official Sue May headed up the wonderful rules team and volunteer Lenora Hutchins oversaw a generous group of volunteers.
- The Nevada Open will be making a $1,000 donation to the Mesquite Junior Golf Program.