HIGHLAND — With all of the accomplishments by the family over the years, it's a little amazing that the Summerhays name has never graced the Utah Open trophy since the tournament began in 1926.

Bruce Summerhays, who has won twice on the Senior PGA Tour, won practically every tournament in Utah. But he never won the Utah Open.

On Sunday, his nephew, 23-year-old Boyd Summerhays, became the first Summerhays to capture a Utah Open, winning at Alpine Country Club by two shots over fast-closing Brett Wayment. Defending champion Kim Thompson finished third, three shots back of Summerhays, and Andy Miller was fourth, four shots back.

While it was his fourth professional victory — he won a tournament in Wyoming and two on the Maverick Tour in Florida — Summerhays was thrilled to win the Utah Open, even a less-lucrative version of the longtime event.

"I'm grateful to be able to win this tournament," said Summerhays. "I'm fortunate — I didn't think 12-under would win it at the start of the week. It just happened to be my week."

The victory was worth $5,000 to Summerhays, considerably less than the $20,000 offered to the winner for nearly two decades up until 2000. Still, Summerhays wasn't complaining, saying it was an honor to win his state open and that the money would help buy baby clothes for his son born just three weeks ago.

Summerhays won by being the most consistent golfer in the 156-player field, as his three straight 68s attest. While other golfers were up and down all over the place, Summerhays played steady golf to wind up on top. In Sunday's final round, he didn't make a single bogey, adding four birdies to 14 pars.

Two breaks on the back nine — a bad one for an opponent and a good one for himself — turned the tournament in favor of Summerhays, who came into Sunday's final round trailing Thompson by one shot.

The first came at No. 11 when Thompson was leading by two shots at 12-under to 10-under for Summerhays. Thompson hit a 4-iron off the tee to lay up in front of the creek that runs through the middle of the fairway. It was the smart play, but his ball struck a yardage marker on the fairway and bounded into the hazard. What are the odds of that happening?

Then on the par-5 14th hole, Summerhays saw a ball headed for the trees bounce back into the fairway, saving him a possible lost-ball, two-stroke penalty.

Thompson was trying to become the first repeat Utah Open champion since 1945-46, when Emery Zimmerman won back-to-back titles. All he could do was shrug his shoulders afterward at the way the breaks went against him this year, after seeing them in his favor a year ago when he came from behind to beat Wayment.

"That's golf for you," he said. "I hit a perfect tee shot and it lands on a 220 plate and goes in the water. That was a momentum change right there. Then (Summerhays) got a good break on 14. I just got on the wrong end of it."

Thompson admitted he "lost focus" after the bad break on No. 11. "That was a momentum change all of a sudden," he said.

The bogey, coupled with Summerhays' birdie at 11, put the two golfers in a tie, and Summerhays went up for good when he rolled in a birdie putt at No. 13. At 14, Summerhays received his break when his 4-iron second shot hit the top of a large tree and ricochetted left into the fairway. He ended up making par, while Thompson hit a poor chip shot and made bogey.

A poor tee shot at 15 led to another bogey, leaving Thompson three shots behind. When Summerhays got up and down for par at the par-3 16th hole, he knew he was "in the driver's seat."

Four groups ahead of Summerhays and Thompson was Wayment, who, for a while, was on his way to making up for last year's final-hole debacle when he triple-bogeyed No. 18 at Jeremy Ranch to lose to Thompson by two shots.

Despite starting the day six shots off the pace, Wayment made up most of them through 12 holes, when he stood 7-under on the day, 10-under for the tournament. However, he three-putted the par-5 14th from 90 feet for par, then bogeyed the 16th with another 3-putt to fall out of contention.

"I felt if I could actually get it to 11-under, I could put some heat on them," he said.

Unfortunately for Wayment, his fine play Sunday — a 65 — forced him to miss a flight to Wichita, Kan., for a Buy.com qualifying tournament Monday. Because he was so close to the lead, he had to wait around for a possible playoff, and he missed his 5:30 p.m. flight. He'll try for a Buy.com event in Texas next week instead.

Dan Smith, the 16-year-old from Ogden who shocked everyone with his opening-round 66, hung in strong most of Sunday despite playing under the spotlight that accompanied the final group of the day.

Although he never really contended for the lead, Smith stayed close before making a double bogey at No. 16 and a bogey at 18 to finish with a 75 and a 211 total. Still, he was the low amateur and tied for eighth overall, which had to give him considerable confidence that should help him in future golf tournaments.

Summerhays will be back in the state for the Buy.com Utah Classic in three weeks, but he'll play in several events in the meantime, including the "Midnight Madness" glow-in-the-dark tournament with his wife at Oakridge Country Club.


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