Robert Garrigus takes first-round lead at Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank
June 27, 2019
By Sean Wildhack, PGATOUR.COM
- June 27, 2019
- Robert Garrigus carded eight birdies en route the the first-round lead. (Dave Evenson/Korn Ferry Tour)
Farmington, Utah — After missing the cut at last week’s Wichita Open Supporting Wichita’s Youth, Robert Garrigus carded an opening 7-under 64 to take the first-round lead at the Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank. With gusts reaching up to 32 miles per hour, the 41-year-old excelled at Oakridge Country Club, mixing eight birdies against a lone bogey.
Making his second Korn Ferry Tour start of the season, Garrigus displayed his short game proficiency on Thursday, getting up-and-down six of seven times. He only needed 23 putts in the opening round and credited his new putter for the stellar play.
“I switched to a Callaway Arm Lock,” said Garrigus. “I had one last week, but I wasn’t really comfortable with it. I’m really comfortable with this one and I’m looking forward to the next few days.”
Playing the PGA TOUR on conditional status this season, Garrigus has made two of seven cuts, with his best finish a T20 at the Sanderson Farms Championship. He currently sits 222nd in the FedExCup standings and has not made a TOUR start since a missed cut at the Puerto Rico Open in February.
“I think I’m in the next five events on the PGA TOUR, which is really nice,” commented Garrigus about his upcoming schedule. “I’m using this to get the rust off and now that I did this today, I’m trying to win. If I win this week, then I’ve got a decision to make.”
The seasoned veteran earned his maiden PGA TOUR victory at the 2010 Children’s Miracle Network Classic, where he rallied from a five-shot deficit for the win. Garrigus has yet to earn another victory since and is hoping to regain his TOUR card for the 2019-20 season.
“Today, I got the adrenaline going and I got that feeling again,” Garrigus commented about his round. “As a professional golfer, it was really nice to get back into it and feel the nerves again. It felt amazing.”
In his sixth appearance at the Utah Championship, local favorite Daniel Summerhays sits two shots off the lead. The Farmington native and resident returned to his old stomping grounds this week, carding a 5-under 66 at his home club.
“There’s something about being home,” said Summerhays. “You know where the hole locations can get dicey, you know where you need to leave it. I feel like I did a really good job of that today.”
Summerhays is back at the same course where he won the Utah State Amateur Championship 19 years ago. Fueled by the cheers of his hometown fans, he carded his fourth career 66 at this event, tying his lowest round at the Utah Championship.
“I know I’m not supposed to play for anybody else but me, but everyone who was out there, those 75-80 people watching, they’re all a part of me,” the 35-year-old said. “It was a really neat experience to play one of my best rounds of the year in front of all the people that I love.”
Daniel’s nephew, Preston Summerhays, is also in the field after being awarded a sponsor exemption. The 16-year-old carded an opening-round 2-over 73 and sits T104.