Five players to watch at Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank
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Just three events remain before Korn Ferry Tour Finals
The Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank marks the 20th event on the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour, as players seek coveted spots inside the top 30 on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List, which will bring 2024 PGA TOUR membership at season’s end in October. With just three events remaining before the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, tensions are building as the circuit heads to Utah. Every point could prove pivotal. The top 156 players will gain access to the first Finals event, with field reductions each week; 75 players will be eligible for the season-ending Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance.
Here’s a look at five players to watch this week at Oakridge Country Club.
1. Trace Crowe: One week can change lives on the Korn Ferry Tour, a truth epitomized by Crowe at last week’s NV5 Invitational presented by Old National Bank. With four rounds of 66 or better at The Glen Club, Crowe matched Patrick Fishburn’s 25-under total and won on the second extra hole in Chicagoland. The victory moves Crowe to No. 35 on the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour Points List, putting him firmly in contention for one of the 30 PGA TOUR cards which will be awarded at season’s end. “You really never know how many starts you’re going to get,” Crowe said of playing with conditional status the last two seasons. “To now be in a position where I can possibly (earn a PGA TOUR card), it’s a dream come true.”
2. Patrick Fishburn: Fishburn improved 24 spots on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List with a runner-up at the NV5 Invitational, his third top-10 of the season. The Utah native has now recorded eight consecutive rounds of 67 or better; his runner-up in Chicagoland was preceded by a T7 at the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper. Fishburn now stands No. 15 on the season-long standings as he seeks his first TOUR card, and the local favorite carries plenty of momentum to an Oakridge track where he finished second a year ago.
3. Ryan McCormick: After missing the cut at the Price Cutter Charity Championship, McCormick found a silver lining with a visit to his coach Bernie Najar in Maryland, en route to an opening-round 60 at the NV5 Invitational, where he proceeded to record a third-place finish. The New Jersey native now stands No. 25 on the Korn Ferry Tour Points List, well positioned to chase his first PGA TOUR card across the season’s final seven events.
4. Patrick Cover: Cover (pictured above) has now recorded three top-10s in his last five Korn Ferry Tour starts, after notching zero top-10s in his previous 35 career starts on Tour. The North Carolina native is finding his stride at the right time; he stands No. 44 on the season-long standings as he chases his first TOUR card. His sixth-place finish at The Glen Club, including weekend rounds of 63-66, marks a career-best Korn Ferry Tour performance.
5. Pierceson Coody. With three Korn Ferry Tour titles in 14 months since turning pro out of the University of Texas, the 23-year-old isn’t afraid to go low. This trait should serve him well at Oakridge, a course that lends itself to plentiful wedges and accompanying birdies. Coody stands No. 4 on the Points List, and he has all but secured his first PGA TOUR card.