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Golfers staying in Las Vegas after Shriners Open for CJ Cup

With the Shriners Children’s Open in the books, players can turn their attention to next week and the CJ Cup at The Summit Club.

The tournament features an elite field of just 78 players, playing a no-cut event with $9.75 million on the line. For more than half the field, there will be no travel involved. Forty-five players who teed it up at TPC Summerlin can stay put in Las Vegas for another week as they are in the field. And a loaded field it is.

Among those who skipped the Shriners and are in the CJ Cup are Dustin Johnson, Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele, Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy.

Twenty of the top 25 in the world rankings will be at The Summit Club, a venue unknown to almost all the players.

The field stands at 70 players presently, with eight players from Korea to be added following the conclusion of the Genesis Championship on Sunday night.

Big week for Hall

Harry Hall didn’t fade under the spotlight of contending in a PGA Tour event for the first time. The Korn Ferry Tour player from Las Vegas had a 68 on Sunday, getting him to 17 under and a tie for eighth.

The top-10 finish earns him a spot in the PGA Tour’s next full-field event in Bermuda in three weeks.

“It’s given me a lot of confidence, and I’m happy with the way I’m trending, just through my game and through my career at the moment,” Hall said of his immediate reflections on the week. “It’s my first year as a professional, really, or second now, and hopefully I have many more to come.”

Hall got into the field on a sponsor exemption and was a fan favorite given his status as a UNLV player. Their support meant a lot to him.

“It was very nice,” he said. “I can’t wait to be back next year, hopefully.”

Strong title defense

Martin Laird had another strong finish in Las Vegas, shooting 66 on Sunday to finish at 16 under and a tie for 11th.

Laird’s first PGA Tour title came at this event in 2009, and he added a second victory here last year. Laird also lost a playoff in 2010 when Jonathan Byrd made an ace in sudden death.

Double duty

Jim “Bones” Mackay was walking with the leaders, doing his job as an on-course analyst for The Golf Channel and NBC Sports like he has for several years since parting ways with Phil Mickelson after 25 seasons together.

But once a caddie, always a caddie. Mackay trades in his microphone Monday for his new gig, carrying the clubs for Justin Thomas.

Getting his work in

As the leaders made the turn Sunday afternoon, a lone player stood out on the driving range pounding balls. Ian Poulter was working on a swing that was nowhere near sharp all week, missing the cut by six shots.

Poulter is among the players staying in Las Vegas for the CJ Cup.

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. He can be reached at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

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