McLachlin's victory earns him more than 'just' $540,000

BY DARRELL MOODY

Appeal Sports Writer

RENO -" For Hawaiian-born Parker McLachlin, two of the biggest perks to winning the 10th annual Legends Reno-Tahoe Open on Sunday were the two-year exemption he received on the PGA Tour and the chance to play in next year's Mercedes Championship in his home state.

"It (the exemption) is incredible," McLachlin said. "Two years is pretty special. Getting to play in the Mercedes (is big). I used to work that (tournament) picking the range when I was 13 or 14. I'd stay over there (Maui) the whole week. I was a standard-bearer for Fred Couples. I idolized them. Being part of that, I can't express it."

BIG PAYDAY FOR LOCAL

Travis Hansen, who used to work at Montreux Golf & Country Club, served as McLachlin's caddie this week.

McLachlin told reporters that he fired his caddie earlier in the week and joked that Hansen might want to give up his current job and go on tour. McLachlin had worked with Hansen before at Dayton Valley Golf Club during U.S. Open qualifying.

"Fifty-thousand is pretty good for five days of work," McLachlin said, drawing a laugh from the guests in the media center. "He and I have worked together in tough situations before. He was a stud. He made the right choice with clubs and kept it light out there."

Caddies usually get approximately 10 percent of what the champion receives.

NEW TROPHY

The Legends Reno-Tahoe Open has a new trophy that combines the area's outdoors influence with its history as a leading mining center in the 1800s.

The trophy was designed by noted California artist Malcolm DeMille, who has designed many golf trophies. This one features a 100-ounce pure silver bar from the Barrick Mining Co.

The pure silver bar is set in a mineshaft of rough-hewn wood timbers coming out of granite mountains. The tournament logo and 2008 champion are featured on the front nickel satin plate.

"Malcolm DeMille's work is notable not only because of its beauty and creativity, but because he has the uncanny knack for reflecting the character and personality of the event," said Michael Stearns, the LRTO tournament director.

HOLE REPORT

The easiest hole for the tournament was No. 4, the 518-yard par-5. It played to a 4.641 average, yielding 17 eagles and 158 birdies.

The toughest hole was No. 8, the 464-yard par-4. It played to a 4.297, yielding just 46 birdies. There were 93 bogeys, 20 double-bogeys and 10 triple-bogeys.

FACTS & FIGURES

McLachlin becomes the ninth first-time winner on the PGA Tour in 2008, joining Brian Gay, Greg Kraft, Andres Romero, Johnson Wagner, Anthony Kim, Ryuji Imada, Richard S. Johnson and Chez Reavie...Rob Grube, one of two sponsor's exemptions, finished with a 4-under-par 68 to finish with a 7-under-par 288 ... There were three 66s shot on Sunday, by Steve Elkington, John Riegger and Martin Laird.

- Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com or (775) 881-1281

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