3 former BYU golfers will compete in Korn Ferry Tour’s Utah Championship this week
Former BYU stars Daniel Summerhays, Patrick Fishburn and Rhett Rasmussen will tee it up in the Korn Ferry Tour event
Daniel Summerhays’ wife and kids won’t have to peek through the fences to watch him play this year. Patrick Fishburn’s father won’t have to “disguise himself as a swing coach” to get on the grounds at Oakridge Country Club.
After fans were not allowed at the Utah Championship last summer due to COVID-19 restrictions, they will be back in force beginning Thursday when the Korn Ferry Tour event begins in Farmington.
The tournament will have its usual Utah flair again, as Farmington’s Summerhays, Ogden’s Fishburn and Draper’s Rhett Rasmussen will all tee it up on what is billed as the primary developmental tour for the PGA Tour. Summerhays, Fishburn and Rasmussen — one of eight qualifiers from Monday’s 18-hole qualifying event at TalonsCove Golf Club — all played golf at BYU.
“Oakridge Country Club is my home. If I could play this one tournament the rest of my life, I would do it. Because it is a part of me.” — Daniel Summerhays.
Thursday, Fishburn will tee off from the No. 10 tee (No. 1 for Oakridge members) at 7 a.m., playing with Grant Hirschman and Harrison Endycott the first two rounds.
Summerhays starts at 1:05 p.m. on No. 10 with Anders Albertson and Alex Prugh. Rasmussen, who plays on the recently created Forme Tour, begins at 2:15 p.m. on No. 10 with Chandler Eaton and Peyton White, who got a sponsors’ exemption at the urging of PGA Tour star Tony Finau, a native Utahn.
Finau is playing in the World Golf Championships event in Memphis this weekend.
Fishburn and Summerhays appeared at a news conference last week to talk about the state of their games and reminisce on last year’s tournament, when Summerhays rallied with a closing round 62 to make the playoff but made a bogey on the first playoff hole and lost to eventual champion Kyle Jones.
“Oakridge Country Club is my home,” Summerhays said. “If I could play this one tournament for the rest of my life, I would do it because it is a part of me.”
Summerhays, 37, retired from tour golf shortly after last year’s incredible finish to become a full-time teacher and boys golf coach at Kaysville’s Davis High, his alma mater. However, he said last week that he has resigned from both positions and will decide in a few months what he will do next.
“I gave (teaching) my all. I learned so much from it. Why I stopped — I don’t think it is my best fit for my current state in life right now,” Summerhays said. “I found out that time-wise, I was almost gone more than when I was traveling the Tour. It was just my personality. I wanted to do it so well that I put so much time into it, so I have stepped away from that.”
Although last year’s T2 finish qualified him for every tournament on the KFT since then in this extended “super season,” Summerhays bypassed “probably 25 events” until a few weeks ago. He played in the TPC Colorado Championship July 8-11 and made the cut, finishing in a tie for 67th place after rounds of 72-71-72-72 left him at 1-under.
Next week, Summerhays plans to play in the season-ending Pinnacle Bank Championship in Omaha, Nebraska.
“Do I want to continue to try to play full time in the future? I can’t tell you that yet. Still taking some time to figure some things out,” he said. “I will play the Utah Open at Riverside in Provo (Aug. 20-22), and then from there, school will start. My kids will go to school. I won’t, which will be good for a little bit. I will take some time to figure out what my next step will be.”
Summerhays revealed last week that he played the 2020 tournament at Oakridge with a fractured left foot. He had surgery on it in January but says he is almost fully recovered, pointing to his ability to walk a really long course in Colorado a few weeks ago for four days with no setbacks and little fatigue.
“I love golf, and golf has been really good to me,” he said. “I am looking forward to giving back however I can to the game, so hopefully we will be able to give back by putting on another decent show this year when I play the event.”
As for Fishburn, his status as a full-time member of the Korn Ferry Tour is in jeopardy. He is currently No. 82 on the tour’s points list. The top 75 qualify for the Korn Ferry Tour Finals; the top 25 after the playoffs earn a PGA Tour card.
“This is one of my favorite weeks of the year,” Fishburn said. “It is something I circle on the calendar. I just love playing Utah. I love playing this event, something I started doing three years ago.”
Ever self-deprecating, Fishburn said he “hasn’t peaked too early, as you have noticed by my scores.”
Actually, he likes the way he has played the last few tournaments, making the cut and getting to double digits under par but “getting lapped” by winners who posted 72-hole totals of 27- and 28-under par.
“I am especially excited to play in front of fans this year,” Fishburn said. “It would have been awesome if we would have had them out here last year with Danny doing what he was doing. That was amazing. I was a few groups behind, but I just knew there was some sort of buzz going on.”
The top two players in the KFT points standings, Stephan Jaeger and Olympian Mito Pereira of Chile, aren’t playing this week, but 13 of the top 25 are, including No. 3 Chad Ramey and No. 4 Taylor Moore.
The field includes 52 past KFT winners with 73 total wins, including 2014 champion Andres Gonzales, in the field on a sponsors exemption.