For Farmington's Daniel Summerhays, it was right there for the taking — his first PGA Tour victory — as he teed off Sunday afternoon with a three-shot lead at the Memorial Tournament in Ohio.
Unfortunately for Summerhays, he got off to a slow start and faced an uphill battle all day before faltering again on the closing holes.
The 33-year-old former BYU golfer finished in a tie for 10th place after shooting a 6-over-par 78 and ending up overall with a 7-under par 281 total, six shots behind winner Jason Dufner.
Summerhays was playing in his 185th PGA Tour event at the Muirfield Village Golf Club and looking for his first victory. But it wasn’t to be as he started off shakily, making a double bogey at the par-3 No. 3 hole, followed by a bogey at No. 4. That dropped him out of the lead. However, he came back with a pair of birdies at the par-5 5th and 7th holes to get back to 12-under for the tournament.
“I actually felt good out there, I honestly did,” Summerhays told the Golf Channel. “But I made a poor swing at No. 3 off the tee and put myself in a tough position. I fought pretty well and hit a lot of good shots, but a couple of bad ones got me in trouble.”
Back-to-back bogeys at 10 and 11 dropped him back and after the second hour-long rain delay of the day, he finished with a bogey at No. 16 and a double-bogey at No. 18, when he hit the bunker and then hit two poor shots.
“It definitely stings, the last hole I had a chance to make a birdie from the middle of the fairway but walk off with double,” he said.
Summerhays was seen getting a handshake from Jack Nicklaus when he came off the final green and the two talked for several seconds.
“I’ll bounce back really quick,” Summerhays said. “Being able to shake Jack’s hand there — he looked me straight in the eye — and his giving me encouragement … that will prove to be really useful.”
Two other Utah golfers, Tony Finau and Zac Blair, finished the Memorial in a tie for 40th place and a tie for 63rd place, respectively.