Check out what has been happening in Utah Golf.
Summerhays Off to Good Start on PGA Tour; Shoots 64 in Second Round
HONOLULU — Five PGA TOUR rookies played all 72 holes at the Sony Open in Hawaii this week: Chris Kirk (tied for 30th), Daniel Summerhays (tied for 34th), Nate Smith and Kevin Chappell (each tied for 42nd) and Matt McQuillan (tied for 54th).
A total of 27 rookies started the week; there are 35 rookies on TOUR this year.
Smith, who started the day 7 under and in contention, managed to take away some great lessons from his first PGA TOUR start, despite sliding back down the leaderboard after shooting 69-74.
“It was nice to get a little taste of what it’s like to play in-between the ropes with the crowds and some of the guys,” Smith said. “It was a good experience. It makes me feel more confident, even though I didn’t play so well today, just to know that it’s really not so daunting out there.”
Smith figured the marathon 36-hole Sunday might play into the hands of the younger, fitter golfers. But he found out that’s not always the case.
“Maybe I need to put on a few pounds and get that 46-year-old beer gut going that some of these guys got,” he joked.
Summerhays can build on the 64 he shot in the second round that tied for low score on Friday. He birdied five of his last seven holes to make the cut, which only consisted of 56 players due to the 36-hole finish. He shot consecutive even-par 70s on Sunday.
“To make a really short cut and get another two rounds under my belt is huge for me,” Summerhays said.
He said he didn’t see anything out of the ordinary in his first start as a rookie
“Coming from the Nationwide Tour, I felt like everything as pretty similar,” said Summerhays, who had three second-place finishes last year. “The quality of players out here is very good but I feel like I belong out here.”
Smith is looking to carry his confidence into the rest of the 2011 season, “I exceeded my expectations in the first couple of rounds. All things considered, it’s been a good week,” he said.
Summerhays thinks the rookie class will make an impact in 2011.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see quite a few victories from the rookies this year,” he said.
Summerhays shot rounds of 71-64-70-70-275 and won $26,606.
Toni Finau, who got in the field through a Monday qualifying, shot two rounds of 71 and missed the cut. Dean Wilson did likewise.