Deron Jones remembers playing in the Pahrump Valley Open Inferno in the past, when it was an annual event at Lakeview Executive Golf Course.
“I’ve played it probably three or four other times and haven’t fared so well,” Jones said.
But that changed Saturday as the Inferno returned to Pahrump for the first time in six years, as Jones won the men’s division of the event with a 58 on Lakeview’s par-59 course to edge Rob Hopkins by one stroke. Brian Moore was a shot back at 60 to take third.
“Today was just crazy,” Jones said. “I got a lot of breaks, I putted well except for one hole and got lucky.”
Lakeview itself might have been the big winner Saturday, as the tournament’s return is a strong sign that the course itself is back from its past troubles. Will Peers, general manager of the course, was pleased to see 70 players participate, including about 25 who signed up just in the week leading up to the event.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to show how far the course has come condition-wise, and the new atmosphere here,” said Peers, on the job since December. “It’s 100 percent better than what it was a year ago, and we continue to get a little bit better every day. Operation is going a little better, course conditions continue to improve, there’s just a lot of good things with the new management and the new atmosphere we’re creating — friendly, inviting to golfers of all levels.”
Jones certainly agrees with Peers’ view of the course.
“The course is unbelievable,” said Jones, a 13-year Pahrump resident from Illinois. “It’s the best I’ve ever seen it in the 13 years that I’ve been here. Will Peers is doing an amazing job on this course right now.”
Jones said he hadn’t played in about three weeks before teeing off in the Inferno, but there was no secret to his good round.
“Today I just hit my irons well,” he said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Jones will receive a red Inferno jacket for his victory, as will women’s champion Charity Musial, whose round of 70 was 8 strokes better than Andrea Gasper, and senior champion Gene Bulac.
The tournament drew players from high school to retirement age, according to Peers.
“By improving the course conditions, we attract all sorts of golfers,” Peers said. “We have a lot of players from Mountain Falls, a lot of people who used to play in the Inferno all the time before it stopped, some new names, some old names.
“We could have had another 15 to 20 but we’re kind of limited with carts, and 72 is the ideal number.”
Pahrump Valley Open Inferno results
1. Deron Jones 58, 2. Rob Hopkins 59, 3. Brian Moore 60.
1. Charity Musial 70, 2. Andrea Gasper 78, 3. Michelle Caird 90.
*Seniors (65+) Division
1. Gene Bulac 74 (-14), 2. Ron Becker 66 (-12), 3. Ivar Gals 64 (-12).
*-Seniors played with a handicap based on age
Hunt posts hole-in-one
Gary Hunt recorded a hole-in-one on the No. 8 hole July 2 at Lakeview Executive Golf Course.
Hunt’s ace happened on the 156-yard par-3 hole and was witnessed by Myron Sabin and Connie Lampkin.
Lakeview Executive Golf Course includes five par 4s and 13 par 3s and is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 775-727-4040.