The tenth annual Mesquite Amateur golf tournament is history after attracting 592 competitors from all over North America and several international countries including Italy, France, Dubai and Netherlands.
Played May 28-June 1, 2012, at courses including the CasaBlanca; Conestoga; Falcon Ridge; Palmer and Canyons at the Oasis (all in Mesquite); along with Coyote Springs southwest of Mesquite, the blockbuster event had everything from great golf to a poker tournament to Bunco and even a trip to picturesque Zion National Park north of St. George.
For the second time in a decade, the Mesquite Amateur ended in a sudden death playoff when enthusiastic Suzanne Madej of Detroit, Mich. beat Wayne Higgins of Granbury, Tex., to capture the tournament on the first hole of sudden death at the CasaBlanca Golf Club.
The two finished with identical net 65s at the end of regulation play.
“This is my second time here,” said Madej. “This time, it was a real thrill. I played very consistent and felt comfortable all day long.”
The energetic Madej said she gave up bowling for golf several years ago.
“I’m ready for another challenge,” she said. “I’m marking things off my bucket list. I enjoy golf and being with the people and being outdoors. I like the critters on the golf course.”
Higgins said he “ran out of gas” on the last day.
“I bogeyed four holes today,” he said before hopping in his car for the trip back to a city southwest of Fort Worth, Tex.
Caption: Mesquite Amateur winner Suzanne Madej of Detroit, Mich., left, is congratulated by runner up Wayne Higgins of Granbury, Tex, on the first sudden death playoff hole Friday at the CasaBlanca Golf Club.
As has been the case with every Mesquite Amateur, the three days were filled with fun and it wasn’t hard to find happy faces.
Chad Young, a 48 year-old driver for Fed Ex in Salt Lake City, went into the final round with his wife Holly. Both won their flights to earn play in the final round.
“This tournament is always good,” said Mr. Young, who won the tournament in 2010. “It was hot, but it was still a lot of fun. This is our favorite tournament of the year.
“This year’s tournament was very well run. In fact, my cart partner was telling me how impressed he was with the
“I played steady all day long.”
Mark Matthews, a 49 year-old firefighter paramedic from Albany, Ore., was playing in his first Mesquite Amateur.
“I heard about the tournament at the Palm Springs Amateur,” he said. “I have played in a lot of tournaments and this tournament is very efficiently-run. This is one of the best and the networking here is absolutely incredible.”
Craig Ratcliffe, a 64 year-old retiree from Indio, Calif., played in the Mesquite Amateur for the seventh time.
“The CasaBlanca course is a very fair course,” Ratcliffe said. “I keep coming back because it beats going to Vegas. It’s the same type of vacation at 20 percent of the cost. I will be back next year, for sure.”
Terry Doan, of Meadow Vista, Calif., played in his seventh Mesquite Amateur.
“I did outstanding,” said Doan, a 70 year-old retired fireman. “I love this tournament. This has good people and some very good courses. We also have great people to play with. We make new friends every year and those friendships carry on to the Pac Am each year in Bend. Ore., later in the year.”
Gary Stead, a 71 year-old tax preparer and securities broker from Stockton, Calif., has played in each of the tournaments.
“I found out about the first tournament through a friend,” said Stead. “I like the courses here and I really like the hot weather. The food is better here than anywhere.”
Mesquite Gaming Director of Golf Scott Sullivan, who played in the first Mesquite Amateur in 2003, said the tournament turned out very well.
“I appreciate what the golfers go through,” Sullivan said. “The CasaBlanca course was in awesome shape. Hats off to our superintendent Craig Justis, who had the course in superior shape.”
Sponsored by Golf Mesquite Nevada, the Mesquite Resort Association, Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada, the City of Mesquite, CasaBlanca Resort Casino, the Eureka Casino Hotel, the Virgin River Hotel Casino and Callaway Golf, the event not only produced good competition but also a reunion for many who gather each year at this city about 80 miles north of Las Vegas.
“People from all over North America plan their vacations for the Mesquite Amateur every year to play golf and see friends they have met at previous tournaments in Mesquite,” said Tournament Director Christian Adderson.
“This one had it all ranging from a great field to a great ending.”
The 2013 Mesquite Amateur has been scheduled May 27-31. For further information, call 888-711-4653, ext. 15; or visit www.mesquiteamateur.com.