Summerhays, Lower share 54-hole lead at Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank
June 29, 2019
By Sean Wildhack, PGATOUR.COM
- June 29, 2019
Top-3 shots from Round 3 at the Utah Championship
Farmington, Utah - Playing in front of his friends and family in his hometown of Farmington, Utah, Daniel Summerhays carded a 3-under 68 on Saturday to join Justin Lower atop the leaderboard at the Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank. Competing at his home club of Oakridge Country Club, the 35-year-old looks to take advantage of playing in familiar territory for his first Korn Ferry Tour victory in almost 12 years.
Starting the third round one stroke back, Summerhays made the turn in 1-under 35, before reeling in three more birdies on Nos. 12, 14 and 15. He carded his second bogey of the day on No. 17 en route to a 3-under 68. The Farmington, Utah native had plenty of encouragement on site, where an army of his friends and family cheered him on through every shot.
“I got choked up because of all the support,” said Summerhays. “Honestly no matter what, win or not tomorrow, I honestly feel like I’ve done myself proud and all of my friends and family proud.”
Summerhays grew up playing at Oakridge Country Club, where he spent countless hours honing his game. A framed picture of the 35-year-old proudly hangs by the clubhouse entrance, reminding guests and members of Summerhays’ original roots. The Brigham Young University alum looks to draw upon his experiences at this site and use it to his advantage in the final round.
“I think it’ll be more of a comfort than anything else,” said Summerhays of playing at his home course. “It’ll be unique, but I think I’ll be more comfortable here than any other big setting I’ve been in.”
Summerhays’ sole victory on the Korn Ferry Tour came almost twelve years ago, competing as an amateur at the 2007 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. He won the event by two strokes over Chris Nallen and Chad Collins, becoming the first amateur to win a Korn Ferry Tour title. Even though he couldn’t accept the $126,000 award, the victory boosted his golf career, earning him a full exemption for the remainder of the season and all of 2008. He eventually made it to the PGA TOUR in 2011, where he owns two runner-up finishes in 214 career starts.
“I’ve played in almost every big golf tournament in the world and have been in the last several groups in major championships and things like that,” said Summerhays. “A lot of those things I’ve learned in those situations, whether it was the U.S. Open, PGA Championship or the Memorial, all of those experiences will aid me tomorrow.”
Joining Summerhays in the final group, Lower is seeking his maiden Korn Ferry Tour victory in his fourth full season on Tour. Entering the week 27th in The 25, Lower will secure his PGA TOUR card for the 2019-20 season with a victory tomorrow. In 2018, Lower finished at No. 29 in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, missing his card by less than $500.
“It’s nerve-wracking for sure,” said Lower of being paired in the final group. “It’s where you want to be and it’s what you live for. It’s why we do it week-in and week-out, so it’ll be fun.”