St. Louis Podiatrist Jeff Miller Captures the Ninth Annual Mesquite Amateur Golf Tournament about 80 Miles North of Las Vegas

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More than 500 golfers converge on one of the nation's largest amateur courses for great golf and great fun.

St. Louis podiatrist Jeff Miller, left, is congratulated by Black Gaming Sporting Events Manager Christian Adderson after winning the ninth annual Mesquite Amateur golf tournament about 80 miles north of Las Vegas.

The ninth annual Mesquite Amateur had everything from non-stop activities to an increased field and a glorious day for the championship round played June 3 at the CasaBlanca Golf Club.

Jeff Miller, a 56-year old podiatrist from St. Louis, Mo, recorded a gross 79 net 59 score to win the overall Mesquite Amateur Championship while Dana Boyette of Nashville, Tenn., took the runner up with a gross 86 net 63.

Art Hickman of Long Pond, Calif., had a gross 75 net 68 to take the low gross for the championship round.

From the lavish dinners each night to the experiences on an all-star list of six golf courses including the CasaBlanca Golf Club, Palms Golf Club, Oasis Palmer, Canyons, and Falcon Ridge in Mesquite along with Coyote Springs Golf Club in Coyote Springs, the tournament drew 552 golfers from several states, Canada and the Netherlands competing in 17 flights.

Miller relaxed outside the CasaBlanca clubhouse soaking up his victory while enjoying a cigar.

“This is the first time that I have been to Mesquite and never in 1,000 years would I have guessed that I would win this,” he said. “The courses I played (Falcon Ridge, Coyote Springs and CasaBlanca) were fantastic and we could not have asked for better weather.

“This is a very humbling experience.”

Miller said everyone seemed happy with the event.

“The other people in our group were from Washington and Oregon and they loved it, too,” he said. “Everyone is hooked on the Mesquite Amateur.”

Boyette was a returning entry for the Mesquite Amateur and you can bet she will be back again in 2012 after finishing runner up in the championship round.

“I have been playing in this tournament for eight years and I love it here,” she said. “I always talk to people at the World Am and encourage them to come to Mesquite. Everything about this is fun. The food and the people are great and the courses are excellent.”

Boyette won’t soon forget her round.

“I would say my strongest game was my irons,” she said. “On the par-3 fifth hole, I landed about four feet from the hole and birdied it. I’ll definitely be back next year.”

Boyette could be seen on the final day enjoying the scenery and the people on the CasaBlanca course. Connie Jack of Pueblo West, Colo., and Mary Daby of Roseville, Calif. joined Boyette.

“I love coming here because Mesquite is so accessible,” said Jack. “This is such a charming city and it’s not so huge that you get lost.”

Daby was equally as complimentary.

“I have really enjoyed it this year,’ said Daby. “It’s just a lot of fun and I really like the fact that I can get away from work for awhile.”

Defending champion Chad Young, a driver for Fed Ex in Salt Lake City, was happy with his performance.

“I played great,” Young said. “I had a good front nine and a not-so-good back nine. “But it’s great to get together here and play golf with the people who come to Mesquite.”

Young’s friend Jay Lappen of Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles was visiting for the first time.

“It’s a great tournament and I really enjoyed it,” said Lappen. “I’ll definitely be back next year.”

Black Gaming Sporting Events Manager Christian Adderson had a big smile after the winners were named.

“The tournament went fantastic with the increased field this year,” said Adderson explaining that the field increased from 513 last year to 552 this year. “I’m sure that we have a lot of people going back across the nation with nothing but good things to say.”

The four specially-prepared dinners in the CasaBlanca Event Center were also the rave of the tournament. In what is as much a social gathering as it is a golf tournament, the Mesquite Amateur was a home run.

“There are tons of hours of work,” said Bruce Landvik, director of food operations for Black Gaming. “Everything is hand made and there are no frozen products used for the dinners. Two of the nights were Southern, so our smoker worked overtime to prepare pork butt, ribs and some beef items.

“One other night was British so we had Sheppard’s pie, Bangers and Mash. The British Open night was the toughest because we had to incorporate French cuisine into the menu. The last night include lobster tails along with Steak Diane and that proved to be the homerun of the event.”

Landvik said he heard many compliments from those in attendance.

“In fact, one of the biggest hits of the gatherings was the A&W Root Beer Floats and most people said they hadn’t had a float like this since they were kids. When we were kids, we all had A&W and I just thought that bringing back the floats was a great idea and that truly proved to be the case both last year and this year.”

Landvik also praised his staff including his new banquet chef Victor Avila who has been in his current role for only the past month.

The many events complementing the Mesquite Amateur included the wildly-popular Cigars Under The Stars Wednesday night poolside at the CasaBlanca Resort.

“We had a great turnout from several states including Texas and Utah,” said Rich Caudill, the event organizer of Phoenix. “The cigar lifestyle is good fun and it’s sure come a long way from our first gathering when we had 12 us who got together.”

The tenth annual Mesquite Amateur is scheduled May 28-June 1, 2012.

The Mesquite Amateur was sponsored by Golf Mesquite Nevada along with the Mesquite Resort Association. Further information can be found at http://www.mesquiteamateur.com.

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