Reno-Tahoe Open is about more than golf
Chris Hoff, the new director of the Reno-Tahoe Open, summed it up perfectly.
Hoff said the RTO, in its 15th year, has adopted the Triple-A baseball business philosophy. It means the RTO focuses just as much on events that happen off the course during the week as it does the 72-hole tournament.
Back this year is the Doctors Supporting Troops, which gives six winners a chance to play in the Pro-Am portion of the event. Dr Jason Champagne of Champagne Family Dentistry, Dr. Renny Uppal of Reno Orthopedic Clinic, Dr. Robert Quigley of Sierra Nevada Nephrology, Dr. Jim Nunley of Premier Surgical Specialists and Dr. Charles Virden are the sponsoring medical personnel.
More than 50 applications were submitted, and four local patriots were chosen. Ned Nemeth, a Marine sergeant; Thomas Humphrey, a Marine sergeant from Sparks; Army Sgt. Tony Martinez, who received the Purple Heart after being wounded in Vietnam; and Marine Cpl. Luke Schober of Minden. Also selected were Army Maj. Keith Wingad of Iowa and Danielle Green-Byrd of Indiana, who received a Purple Heart after losing her left arm in Iraq. The doctors will act as caddies for the two groups.
“Golf allows me to feel whole and to compete against myself and others,” said Green-Byrd in a RTO release. “I would consider it an honor to participate and bring awareness to the public and share my story of perseverance.”
The Pack Pavilion, on the 17th hole, is a tribute to the University of Nevada. The pavilion offers skybox seating to Nevada fans watching the players compete on three difficult finishing holes. School mascots will be in attendance to entertain the crowd.
The RTO Foundation and U.S. Bank is teaming up for the return of Chip in for Schools, a fundraising program open to area schools, teams, clubs and other affiliated organizations. Students can sell tickets to this year’s RTO for $15 and keep 100 percent of the profits. Since 2010, the program has raised more than $55,000 for area schools. In 2012, the Reno High cheerleaders earned $3,705. Normal daily tickets cost $20, which means any organization gets $5 profit for each ticket sold.
Returning for a second year is the Loudmouth Lounge, formerly known as “The Shack.” Taking on the theme from “Caddyshack,” the spectator venue overlooking the 18th green features a full bar, outdoor games, a post-play happy hour and daily costumes.