Three Utahns make the cut at Korn Ferry Tour’s Utah Championship
Former PGA Tour pros Daniel Summerhays and Mike Weir will be joined for weekend play by former BYU star Patrick Fishburn; Teenager Preston Summerhays and BYU golfer Cole Ponich miss the cut, which came at 5-under 137
FARMINGTON — Sizing up a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole of his second round Friday at the Korn Ferry Tour’s Utah Championship, Sandy resident Mike Weir was fully aware of what the putt meant to the rest of his evening, and perhaps the rest of his weekend.
Make it, and rest easy as the rest of the scores came in at Oakridge Country Club that he was safely inside the cut. Miss it, and worry for the rest of the day whether a 5-under-par score of 137 would hold up.
Weir, the Canadian who played college golf at BYU and won the Masters in 2003, calmly sank the slight bender to complete his morning round at 3-under 68. His two-day total of 6-under 136 means he will play Saturday and Sunday as well.
“Sure, it runs through your mind,” Weir said. “You know you gotta hit a good putt. Who knows? If the scoring gets really good, five (under) might not be the (cut) number. It could be six. … It was nice to make that last one.”
Turns out, the cut did come at 5-under, which is the low 60 players, plus ties.
“I got into one of those zones. I just started hitting it really well off the tee, hit approaches close, and was making everything. That’s usually what happens when you shoot a score like that.” — Utah Championship leader Paul Haley II
Three of the five golfers in the tournament with strong Utah ties advanced, as former BYU star Patrick Fishburn also came in at 6-under and is tied with Weir and several others for 41st place.
In what he has said will be his last tournament as a touring pro, former BYU golfer Daniel Summerhays is at 8-under and tied for 15th after Friday’s 65. He also easily made the cut, thanks to four straight birdies on his back nine.
Current BYU golfer Cole Ponich, whose home is on the second hole, shot -3 and did not make the cut. Large signs wishing Ponich a happy 20th birthday, which was Tuesday, hung from the home’s back deck. Arizona teenager Preston Summerhays, the two-time defending Men’s State Amateur champion, who spends his summers in Davis County, shot 2-under.
Tied for the lead at 13-under are two golfers who played Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, former Georgia Tech golfer Paul Haley II and former Baylor standout Kyle Jones. Haley, who is from Dallas, shot the low round of the tournament to date, a 9-under 62 that included six straight birdies in the middle of the round.
“I got into one of those zones,” Haley said. “I just started hitting it really well off the tee, hit approaches close, and was making everything. That’s usually what happens when you shoot a score like that.”
Weir turned 50 in May and has already started counting the days until his PGA Tour Champions debut in Michigan next month. He says he can play even better.
“It was a little bit scrappy today,” he said. “I mean, I didn’t find the number of fairways that I needed to. I was just 1 or 2 yards into the rough a few times. In order to get to some of these tough pins that are in the corners, you need to be coming from the fairway. I just missed too many fairways to really score.”
Having started on No. 10, Weir played his front nine, which is actually the front nine for Oakridge members, at even-par 35. He birdied holes No. 2 and No. 3 and then made five straight pars before the heroics on No. 9.
Weir, who practices at Hidden Valley County Club close to his home in Sandy, said his game is in excellent shape, even if that didn’t show Friday.
“I wouldn’t say it has been really sharp these last two days, though,” he said. “This is not an indication of how I have been playing. I have been playing much better than that. Hopefully this weekend I can turn it around and play the kind of golf I have been playing for the last few months. These are decent scores that I shot, but I am a little bit disappointed that I didn’t putt better.”
Weir was hoping to make his Champions Tour debut May 21 in Benton Harbor, Michigan, a week or so after his 50th birthday, but the coronavirus pandemic caused the cancelation of that event. So he’ll make his first start on what was once called the Senior Tour on July 31 at The Ally Challenge in Grand Blanc, Michigan.
“Yup, ready to go,” he said. “I have been looking forward to it for awhile. I am looking forward to seeing a lot of familiar faces, guys I grew up playing with, so that will be good to see them.”
It will be even better if he’s coming off some strong finishes in the Korn Ferry Tour.
“Pro golf is interesting because you look forward to your 50th birthday, rather than dread it,” he said.