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Rollins back to defend at Reno

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    Hawaii's Parker McLachlin is one of eight former champions playing in the Reno-Tahoe Open this week.

RENO, Nev. » John Rollins admits he would rather be at St. Andrews playing in the British Open this weekend.

Still, he’s not complaining about a return trip to the Sierra Nevada where he won the $3 million Reno-Tahoe Open last year after tying for second the year before.

The 34-year-old Rollins matched the course record with a second-round 62 on the way to his third career PGA Tour victory last year at Montreux Golf & Country Club.

"It is a fun tournament. It’s got a different feel. It’s just kind of laid back, sort of a relaxed atmosphere out there this week and we’ve got a good golf course on top of it," he said after a practice round yesterday at the Jack Nicklaus-designed course that winds through towering pines and mountain streams a half hour from Lake Tahoe.

"It’s got to be one of the prettiest golf courses we play all year with the mountains and the fairways. I’m hoping I can draw off the good vibes that I have here and jump start a decent finish to the season," Rollins said.

Because he failed to qualify for the British Open, Rollins will tee it up today in a field that includes seven other past Reno champions — Punahou alumnus Parker McLachlin (2008), Steve Flesch (2007), Will MacKenzie (2006), Vaughn Taylor (2004-05), Kirk Triplett (2003), Chris Riley (2002) and Notah Begay III (1999).


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