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Zac Blair Gets Exemption to Utah’s Tourney, Will Retain Amateur Status Through Q-Schoo

The Utah Sports Commission, the sponsoring entity of the Utah Championship on the Tour, has announced that Zac Blair has accepted a sponsor exemption into the Utah Championship.
The announcement, by omission, did not make clear whether he was turning professional or entering the tournament as an amateur, but Zac confirmed this morning that he is playing in the tournament as an amateur and will be playing as an amateur at least through Q-School. He has just concluded his senior season at BYU.
“I am playing this summer with my eye on the possibility of making the Walker Cup team. That is my goal and I will be playing in tournaments that can make that possible,” he said.
“I will play in the Q-School as an amateur and will make my decision on when to turn professional after that,” he said, and added, “money can wait.”
Blair, when pointedly asked, didn’t even know what the amount of first prize money was for the Utah Championship. His response gave the impression that he hadn’t even considered it.
The news release provided by the Utah Sports Commission was as follows:
“The Utah Sports Commission, who manages and oversees the Utah Championship on behalf of the PGA TOUR, is excited to provide the opportunity for a local player of Zac’s caliber to have a chance to play alongside tour professionals,” said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission.
Blair won the 2009 Utah State Amateur, the Cache Valley Amateur, the Salt Lake City Amateur, the Coral Canyon Amateur, 2011 Pacific Northwest Amateur, while being named Utah Golf Association Player of the Year four years in a row beginning in 2009. Zac holds the distinction of winning six straight tournaments, which according to the Utah Golf Association (UGA), is very unlikely that anyone in Utah history has ever won six consecutive tournaments.
He won the 2013 PING Cougar Classic and the 2013 Desert Shootout, shooting a season low 64 during the third round, and concluding the season with 7 top 5 finishes and 11 top 20 finishes.
“I am very excited to play my first PGA TOUR event at this year’s Utah Championship,” said Zac. “I’m looking forward to seeing how my game stacks up with some of the best professionals in the game. It is an honor to be selected for this exemption. I would like to thank the committee for giving me this great opportunity.”
Zac is the son of Utah golf professional Jimmy Blair, who is an alum of the Utah Championship. Jimmy played at BYU from 1974-1977, was the 1981 Utah Open champion and has qualified for the U.S. Senior Open several times.
Tournament Director Mike Smith said, “On behalf of the Utah Championship, we are thrilled to offer this exemption to Zac, as he has proven his playing ability both on the amateur level, as well as his collegiate performance. We hope that our event will help give him the experience and confidence as he continues to develop his game to compete at a higher level.”
In addition to Zac Blair receiving an exemption, the tournament will be giving its second non-restricted exemption to the leading money winner on the NGA Pro Golf Tour (previously known as the Hooters Tour).
“We are excited to be partnering with the Utah Championship, one of the longest running and most prestigious events on the Tour schedule, once again,” said Ryan Walters, president of the National Golf Association. “Our goal is to prepare players for the highest levels of golf and the opportunity and experience the Utah Championship has provided for one of our leading members is invaluable.”