SilverRock Resort – A Home Course of the Bob Hope Classic 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
When the 2011 tournament began little was known about Jhonathan Vegas, except he was a 26-year-old rookie from Venezuela, the first-ever PGA TOUR member from that country. When the tournament was over, he was a national hero and “Jhonny Vegas” was born to golf fans around the world.
Played under near perfect weather all week, the 2011 Bob Hope Classic began with Derek Lamely forging to the front with a 63, which featured a 29 on his second nine at the Palmer Private Course at PGA WEST. Lurking a single stroke behind was Vegas, who had made the cut in three of his four TOUR starts, and J.J. Henry.
When the dust had settled from the second round, Vegas had taken over a share of the lead – and he would never relinquish the lead the rest for of the tournament. Boo Weekley shared the 36-hole lead with Vegas, while Chris Couch and Charles Howell III were a stroke back.
Vegas continued to lead with his third round 67 at SilverRock, joined by Gary Woodland who had crafted a fine 64 at the Nicklaus Private Course at PGA WEST. Australian lefty Greg Chalmers moved up to a stroke with a 65 at La Quinta Country Club.
On Saturday, it looked like Woodland would be the man to beat. Playing Palmer Private, he posted a 66 to vault him into the lead. Vegas, playing the tougher La Quinta Country Club, had struggled, playing his first 12 holes in one under par (which included only two pars). However, he made five strait birdies coming home to tie Woodland for the top spot. One golfer lurking only three strokes back created a lot of excitement – defending champion Bill Haas, who shot a 62 at the home course had vaulted back into contention.
An eagle and two birdies on Sunday’s front nine made Vegas the one to catch. But instead of putting the tournament out of reach, his swing betrayed him and he was forced to make putt after putt to remain in the lead. Haas had fired a 66 to complete play at 27 under. Woodland came to the last tee at 26 under, with Vegas still at 28 under. Woodland’s second shot flew over the pin just over the green, while Vegas laid up and hit a poor iron shot to the front of the green. Woodland chipped up and made a routine birdie, while Vegas’ birdie putt slipped almost nine feet past. His miss made for the first three-man playoff at the Bob Hope Classic in more than 20 years.
An errant drive on the playoff hole (the 18th hole) proved costly for Haas. He laid up in an awkward spot, and a poor pitch resulted in a par. Woodland had hit two good shots, resulting in a birdie. Vegas, meanwhile, hit his second right of the green – and hit a superb shot from a bad lie which struck the flag and settled four feet away. When he knocked that putt in, Haas was eliminated and Vegas and Woodland headed to the second playoff hole, the 10th.
Woodland looked to have the advantage after the drives. He was in the fairway and Vegas’ tee shot landed in the left rough and kicked into the lake. Woodland then hit his second into a greenside bunker, while Vegas hit his third to about nine feet. After Woodland’s indifferent bunker shot, he missed a 15-foot putt for par, meaning Vegas would win if he rolled in his nine-footer. With darkness settling in over PGA WEST, he rolled the putt home – and Jhonny Vegas was born!