MESQUITE, Nev. — Kevin Lucas, of Folsom, California, is the winner of Mesquite Gaming’s 2016 Nevada Open, taking home the coveted trophy and a check for $28,000. Finishing at 19-under par, Lucas had four birdies and one eagle on the final championship day.
Just days prior to the big win, Lucas was 30 minutes from earning official status on the Web.com Tour. Late during his final round of the second stage of PGA Tour school, Lucas was within the score needed to become exempt for the 2017 Web.com Tour season, which would put him that much much closer to securing a spot on the PGA Tour. A faulty finish of bogey, triple bogey at Oak Valley Golf Club in Beamont, California, cost him.
After speaking with friends and family, Lucas gathered himself and made the trip to Mesquite to play in the annual professional state championship for the second time, which proved to be worth the effort.
“Last week was one of the toughest things I’ve had to deal with and to come back and win this tournament just four days after a bad finish at the Web.com Tour is the ultimate redemption,” Lucas said. “It feels good to play well and I feel so much gratitude to be here.”
Lucas fired rounds of 64-65-68–197 to win the Nevada Open and collect the first place check of $28,000. It was the largest payout of Lucas’s professional career. He played two years at the University of Nevada, where he won a tournament as a senior prior to turning professional. Playing well overall, with 22 birdies and an eagle, Lucas said the Nevada Open win was arguably the finest of his career.
“The Nevada Open is a tournament so many of us professionals look forward to each year,” he said. “With a field of 216 players, winning here is right up there with my best ever. It’s a good field, so I am humbled to come out on top. Golf is so competitive now and it’s very competitive all the way down to the mini-tours. I shot 19-under par and I won by one shot. That shows you how deep golf is right now.”
Once again, the popular Nevada Open was sold out and the field was expanded to 216 players, plus the increased purse from $125,000 to $140,000.
“The progress that the Nevada Open has made over the years is amazing,” Nevada Open Tournament Director Christian Adderson said. “We were sold out and had 40 players on the waiting list, so I think that is a testament to how the tournament is run and the great prize money that is available. We believe we offer a first-class tournament and the players really enjoy everything about it and we appreciate all of them coming to play.”
Nick Killpack, from St. George, shot 18-under par and finished second while former PGA Tour player Jeff Gove, of La Quinta, California, finished third at 17-under par. Former Nevada Open champion Seann Harlington, of North Vancouver, British Columbia, shot 64, the lowest score of the final round, and finished tied for fifth at 14-under par. Cory Chavez of La Mirada, California, was the low amateur.
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