Week 28 Approach Shots: Reno-Tahoe Open

July 14, 2010

RENO REPEAT: Defending champion John Rollins will attempt to become just the second player in the 10-year history of the Reno-Tahoe Open to successfully defend at Montreux Golf and Country Club.

TV (all times ET)
TV: Golf Channel (Thu.-Sun., 4 p.m.-7 p.m.)
Sunny, clear and hot all day. Winds 5-10 mph from the northeast.
Updated weather info

Vaughn Taylor claimed the Reno-Tahoe Open back-to-back in 2004 and 2005, his only victories on the PGA TOUR to date. Rollins has five top-20 finishes on the PGA TOUR in 2010, highlighted by a T8 in the season's first full-field event, the Sony Open in Hawaii. Rollins' 10-under-par 62 in last year's second round equaled the best 18-hole score in the history of the Reno-Tahoe Open, previously accomplished three times.

Rollins joined Bill Glasson (Round 2, 2005), Joe Ogilvie (Round 4, 2006) and Parker McLachlin (Round 2, 2008) as only the fourth player to shoot a 10-under-par 62 at Montreux Golf & CC.

THE HONEST GOLFER: England's Brian Davis, who has posted two top 10s (T2 -- 2008, T9 -- 2007) in three previous appearances at the Reno-Tahoe Open, returns to Montreux Golf & CC in the midst of perhaps his best season on the PGA TOUR.

Davis received much attention earlier this season at the Verizon Heritage in April when he called a penalty on himself on the first hole of a playoff with Jim Furyk, forfeiting the hole and a chance at his first PGA TOUR victory. Undeterred, Davis has continued his solid play into the summer, notching another second-place finish at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. Davis will look to follow in the footsteps of five players and make the Reno-Tahoe Open his first PGA TOUR victory. He is currently ranked No. 33 in the FedExCup standings.

DUCK DEBUT: A junior at the University of Oregon, Daniel Miernicki will make his PGA TOUR debut at the Reno-Tahoe Open, receiving a sponsor's exemption after winning the 2010 U.S. Intercollegiate at Stanford Golf Course in April. The Santee, Calif., native posted a career-best, 6-under-par 64 in the final round for a three-stroke victory.

The victory was Miernicki's second of the spring season after collecting the Oregon Duck Invitational in March. He also recently helped the United States capture The Palmer Cup, an international collegiate golf event between the United States and Europe, at Royal Portrush Golf Club, June 24-26.

HOST WITH THE MOST: As the official host of the Reno-Tahoe Open and member of Montreux Golf & CC, Scott McCarron is assisting the tournament with recruiting players and sponsors. McCarron has played in eight of the 10 Reno-Tahoe Opens. His best finishes came in 2004, when he tied for second, and in 2000, when he tied for fourth. He also tied for 10th in 2003. In 28 rounds at Montreux Golf & CC, McCarron has 18 under-par rounds, 23 rounds at par or better and six rounds in the 60s. He has earned $455,771 at the tournament. McCarron just celebrated his 45th birthday on July 10.

FEDEXCUP UPDATE: Including this week, there are six weeks remaining in the regular season before the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup commence at The Barclays the week of August 23. The winner this week will receive 250 points.

Predictions: Columnists vs. Interns
PGATOUR.COM's interns are trying to out-predict our expert columnists this summer. We'll keep tabs and see how they do at the end of the season. Here are their picks for the Reno-Tahoe Open.
Columnists Pick Comment
VAUGHN TAYLOR: He's won twice in Reno and feels comfortable there. Taylor has been very competitive lately and is coming off a productive week at the John Deere.
STEVE FLESCH: He has the experience edge over this field.
VAUGHN TAYLOR: Sticking with the Georgia boy. It's time. And he knows this course.
Interns Pick Comment
VAUGHN TAYLOR: The hottest player in this week's field, Taylor has shot just one round over par since June 6 and is a combined 30 under in four starts since then.
JOHN ROLLINS: I feel a warrior vibe coming from the defending champ this week.
SCOTT MCCARRON: He is the host. He is a member at Montreux. And he needs FedExCup points badly.
Columnists vs. Interns Standings
The columnists had their best week of the summer, each picking a top-25 finisher. Their average has climbed to within ten points of the intern's.
Columnist's average 235.06 Intern's average 243.78
Melanie Hauser 300.75 Chris Dunham 347.00
Craig Dolch 280.50 Ryan Pierce 296.60
Stan Awtrey 274.00 Todd Hoskins 87.75
John Maginnes 85.00  
A Great First-Win Opportunity?
The Reno-Tahoe Open has a history of producing first-time PGA TOUR winners. Since the tournaments inception in 1999, five players have made the Reno-Tahoe Open their maiden TOUR victory: Notah Begay III (1999), Chris Riley (2002), Vaughn Taylor (2004), Will MacKenzie (2006) and Parker McLachlin (2008). Through the AT&T National, there have been nine first-time winners on the PGA TOUR. Two of those players have been rookies. Below is a look at rookies currently scheduled to compete at the 2010 Reno-Tahoe Open and their respective top finishes this season:
Player Best finish Tournament
Blake Adams T2 HP Byron Nelson Championship
Graham DeLaet T3 Shell Houston Open
Brent Delahoussaye T68 Puerto Rico Open
Matt Every T8 Waste Management Phoenix Open
Martin Flores T18 Bob Hope Classic
Garth Mulroy T6 Valero Texas Open
Alex Prugh T5 Bob Hope Classic, Farmers Insurance Open
Jeev Milkha Singh T9 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship
Brian Stuard T2 Mayakoba Golf Classic at Riviera Maya
Josh Teater T5 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Cameron Tringale T17 Puerto Rico Open
Jerod Turner T57 Bob Hope Classic
Chris Wilson T52 Bob Hope Classic
Did you know?
The last six winners of the Reno-Tahoe open have all posted a score in the 70s during the final round. During that six-year period, only Will MacKenzie carded an under-par final round (71). Despite the final rounds in the 70s, only two of those tournaments were decided by two strokes or less.
What the winner gets
A victory this week at the Reno-Tahoe Open will earn the following benefits:
• Fully Exempt for the remainder of 2010 and all of 2011 and 2012
• 250 FedExCup points. It took 354 points to qualify for the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup in 2009 and 494 to reach the Deutsche Bank Championship.
• A spot in the following events in order of play:
   - 2010 PGA Championship
   - 2011 SBS Championship
   - 2011 Arnold Palmer Invitational
   - 2011 THE PLAYERS Championship
   - 2011 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
   - 2011 Memorial Tournament
   - 2011 AT&T National
• If a U.S. player, 648,000 points towards making the 2011 Presidents Cup team.