On hole No. 14, former BYU golfer Daniel Summerhays had a makeable birdie putt … but couldn’t get it to drop.
On hole No. 15, Summerhays made a beautiful chip that appeared headed right for the hole for an eagle … but it came up a foot short.
It was that type of day for Summerhays in the final round of the Korn Ferry Tour’s 2019 Utah Championship presented by Zion’s Bank at Oakridge Country Club in Farmington.
After starting the day tied for the lead, Summerhays struggled to get on a roll while other competitors came on strong.
He made a late push to stay within striking distance but wasn’t able to complete the rally, finishing with a 70 in the final round (1-under-par). That was good enough for sixth place, two strokes back of the winner, Kristoffer Ventura of Norway.
“I thought I had a chance until the very end,” Summerhays said. “I was really proud. I hung in tough on the back nine. It was tough. The wind was gusting probably up to 25 miles per hour but I was able to make some nice short-game shots. Something different always happens. I felt like this was going to be a storybook tale but overall I still feel really good about my performance.”
The former Cougar picked up a birdie on hole No. 3, only to drop back with a bogey on No. 4. The same thing happened as Summerhays went into the turn with a birdie on No. 9 but ended up with a bogey on No. 10.
“The shot on No. 10 really hurt me,” Summerhays said. “That put me behind the eight ball. I had a pitching wedge in there. I tried to mash it and it pulled a little to a dead spot. That made it where I had to play really well down the stretch and I still almost did it. I was one or two shots from being in the playoff right now.”
His birdie on No. 15 kept him in contention but his long putt from off the green on No. 16 just missed, while his shorter birdie putt on No. 17 slid just left and virtually ended any hope of tying the leaders.
“My drive didn’t get down there as far as I thought it would,” Summerhays said. “I hit a good putt but it just didn’t break as much as I had read.”
While the final result wasn’t what he hoped for, he said the week of competition at his home course was a memorable one.
“I can’t tell you how gratifying it was to play so well in front of my home crowd, in front of my friends and family,” Summerhays said. “It was still a storybook week.”
He praised the support he got from family, friends and the Farmington community.
“It’s a great pressure to have people who know you and love you and respect you following you around, cheering you on,” Summerhays said. “I’ve played in front of enormous crowds. I’ve played in front of crowds where if you make a big putt, the hairs on the back of your neck will stand up because the roars are so loud. But none have been have been as emotional as the cheers and roars of this week. I feel so grateful and proud of my performance this week.”
He said his future plans are now to take three of the next four weeks off.
“I need a good chunk of points but this is something I planned to start the year,” Summerhays said. “I’ve got three more events to play, essentially. I’m going to play Colorado, take some time off and then I’ll play Stone Bray and Portland. I hope to play well and continue to ride this momentum.”
The other former BYU golfer at the Utah Championship, Zac Blair, wasn’t able to get the type of score he needed to put himself in the mix at the end but he had another good round.
Blair had five birdies and just one bogey in his final round, carding a 67 to finish at 10-under-par for the tournament (tied for 11th place).
“I love Zac,” Summerhays said. “The guy absolutely loves golf. There is nobody who has more passion about it. I was proud of how he performed out there today. I know he played a solid round and I’m happy for him.”
Ventura and Joshua Creel ended up tying for atop the leaderboard at 14-under-par, with Ventura needing three playoff holes to defeat Creel and get the victory.