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Three Former State Am Champions Begin 2015 PGA Tour With Solid Performances

The three Utah State Amateur champions on the PGA Tour got the 2015 season off to a great start. For tour veteran Daniel Summerhays it was ‘old hat’, but for Zac Blair and Tony Finau it was a resounding success, a season’s worth of experience packed into one tournament.
The smallest guy on the big tour, the smiling, friendly, and confident Blair, made the biggest impression. It was only seven months ago that he won the UGA Winterchamps and then announced he was turning professional. It’s been a whirlwind seven months and he jumped through every hoop and over every hurdle and took advantage of every good bounce and earned his spot on the PGA Tour in what seems like record speed.
Then in his first ever PGA Tour event he rattled off rounds of 69-66-69 and found himself in the final pairing. That didn’t end up as well as hoped, but he finished in a tie for 12th with a final round 74 and $118,000 in his wallet.
Tony Finau was also playing in his first PGA Tour event but his route has taken seven years instead of seven months and there were pot holes and detours, but he never gave up and his game matured and he arrives on tour with enormous potential. He proved that in his first tournament and shot a final round 67 to catch Blair and tie him for 12th place and also pocketed $118,000.
Daniel Summerhays, the veteran, played like the steady journeyman that he is, making the cut on the number and posting 71-72-72-70-285 and pocket change for him, $16,000. Summerhays made it to the tour in short order. He got a jump start when he won a Nationwide Tour event as an amateur and is now in his fifth year on tour and the privileges that come with that consistent success.
All three are products of the very successful Utah Junior Golf Association and the Utah Golf Association programs. Summerhays and Blair also had the extra experience of collegiate golf at BYU while Finau had to work hard to find other places to hone his game.
Summerhays won the Utah State Am twice, in 2000 at Oakridge Country Club, and in 2001 at Wasatch Mountain. He reached the finals a third time in 2006, but lost to Tony Finau at Soldier Hollow.
Blair won the title in 2008 at Valley View.
Until someone proves otherwise, it is likely that no other state has ever had three former State Am champions playing on the PGA Tour at the same time.
For Utah golf fans it will be a banner year watching these three very popular players on national television almost every weekend.
Next week the tour stop is in Las Vegas at the TPC Sumerlin and there will be many Utah golfers making the trek to Vegas for the tournament.
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