Roger Sloan birdies final two holes to win Utah Championship
5 Min Read
Written by Staff @KornFerryTour
FARMINGTON, Utah – Canadian Roger Sloan capped a final-round 5-under 66 with birdies at Oakridge Country Club’s par-4 17th and 18th, hitting back-to-back approaches inside 10 feet, including a near hole-out to set up the winning putt, en route to victory at the Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank. Sloan’s closing birdies moved him to 24-under par for the tournament, one stroke ahead of runner-up finisher Christopher Petefish, who did not make a bogey all week.
Sloan became the first Korn Ferry Tour winner to birdie the final two holes of regulation since Trevor Werbylo won the 2022 Lake Charles Championship in a playoff, and Sloan became the first regulation winner with birdies on the final two holes since Brandon Matthews’ birdie-eagle finish at the 2022 Astara Golf Championship presented by Mastercard.
Sunday’s win snaps a winless drought of just over nine years for Sloan, who earned his only previous Korn Ferry Tour win at the 2014 Nova Scotia Open in his native Canada.
“It feels great,” Sloan said. “To (win) here is special just because this place reminds me so much of being back home. I love Salt Lake City. It’s a great place. Anytime you win, though, is very special. This one, my family was here. To see my kids run onto the green and hug them, that’s a moment I’ll never forget.”
Notable Winless Droughts Ended in 2023
|Winner||Time Between Wins||Tournaments|
|Scott Gutschewski||14 years, 10 months, 15 days||2008 UNC Health Championship presented by STITCH/2023 LECOM Suncoast Classic|
|Ben Kohles||10 years, 7 months, 28 days||2012 Cox Classic/2023 Astara Chile Classic|
|Roger Sloan||9 years, 1 month||2014 Nova Scotia Open/2023 Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank|
Sloan began Sunday’s final round one stroke behind outright 54-hole leader Kevin Dougherty at 20-under par. An eagle at the par-5 seventh and back-to-back birdies at the par-4 eighth and ninth moved Sloan into the outright lead at 23-under par. Sloan fell back to the pack after bogeys at the par-3 11th and par-4 13th, and Petefish jumped in front at 23-under par with an eagle at the par-5 15th.
Petefish eventually made a miraculous par save at No. 18, rebounding from a second shot which hit a tree. Petefish signed for a bogey-free 5-under 66 and became the first player since Brandon Crick at the 2021 Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS to finish a 72-hole event without a bogey. Every other player in the field made at least three bogeys (or worse) this week.
Once Sloan stuffed his approach inside of 3 feet on the 72nd hole, Petefish ceased playoff preparations and settled for a career-high finish and third top-10 in his 34th career start on the Korn Ferry Tour.
“I knew I was tied for the lead,” Sloand said. “I knew once I had that (birdie) putt on No. 17. When I hit a really good putt on No. 17, I had a feeling we might be able to do something on No. 18. I just had a perfect number, hit a 56-degree wedge, and I hit it 95 (yards). Couldn’t ask for anything better.”
Sloan previously graduated from the Korn Ferry Tour at the conclusion of the 2014 and 2018 seasons. Sloan played four consecutive seasons on the PGA TOUR, until a No. 160 finish on the 2021-22 FedExCup Playoffs and Eligibility Points List relegated him to the Korn Forn Ferry Tour for 2023.
The win moves Sloan inside the top 30 of the Korn Ferry Tour Points List and into contention for a return to the PGA TOUR.
“I haven’t had the greatest of years results-wise, but it’s because I’ve been having to work on my game more than I have lately,” said Sloan, who entered the week without a top-10 in 14 starts this season. “I really just got to keep chipping away at what I’ve been doing all year, stay committed to that. The goal is for me to be the best player I could be, hopefully get back to the PGA TOUR soon, but I’m just taking it one day at a time.
“While this is great and we’re going to enjoy it, it’s back to the grindstone next week.”
Pierceson Coody (T6/-19) becomes the fourth player declared #TOURBound and assured of a place in the top 30 on the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour Points List
Roger Sloan (1st/-24) made his third eagle of the week Sunday; he was one of seven players with three eagles in 72 holes at this year’s Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank
- Sloan led the field with 29 total birdies (three eagles, 26 birdies), three more than any other player
Christopher Petefish (2nd/-23) had just two top-10s in 33 previous Korn Ferry Tour starts, and his previous career-high finish was T3/2022 NV5 Invitational presented by Old National Bank
Roberto Díaz (T3/-21) records his second top-10 of the season (T8/The Panama Championship) and only his third top-10 since winning the 2021 Chitimacha Louisiana Open (T8/2022 Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open Benefitting KU Wichita Pediatrics)
Outright 54-hole leader Kevin Dougherty (T3/-21) cards final-round 1-under 70 for his fifth top-10 of the season, and second top-10 in his last three starts; his only previous Korn Ferry Tour season with more than four top-10s was his rookie season in 2018 (five top-10s)
Making his 36th career start, conditional member Danny Walker (5th/-20) records a career-high finish and his second top-10 (6th/2019 Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas Wichita Open)
Making his 41st career start, Steven Fisk (T6/-19) records his first top-10 in a Korn Ferry Tour event; his previous career-high finish was T17/2023 HomeTown Lenders Championship
Conditional member Jeremy Gandon (T6/-19), the second-to-last player in the field via the Priority Ranking this week, records his first top-10 in his seventh start on the Korn Ferry Tour; his previous career-high finish was T15/2021 AdventHealth Championship
Shad Tuten (T6/-19) posts his fifth top-10 in his 18th start of the season; he entered the 2023 season with four top-10s in 64 previous Korn Ferry Tour starts