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Summerhayes, Finau Pull Off Big Surprise at Nibley Park Parent-Junior Tournament

Daniel Summerhays and Tony Finau are playing in the U.S. Open beginning Thursday at Chamber Bay Golf Course near Seattle. So how were they preparing for the big week?

They decided to skip the St. Jude Classic and instead, and on a spur of the moment surprise, showed up at the annual Nibley Park Parent-Junior Scramble, a tournament sponsored by the Salt Lake City golf department for many years now.

Summerhays showed up with his seven year old son, Jack, as his playing partner, and Finau was paired with Grace Summerhays, the daughter of Boyd Summerhays who is Finau’s swing coach. Finau has three children, but they are all under four years of age, and so he paired up Grace. Boyd also played in the tournament with his seven year old son, Cameron. Boyd made the best shot of the day when he hit his nine-iron two inches from the hole on the par three final hole.

Lynn Summerhays, the father of Daniel and Boyd and one of the most influential leaders of Utah junior golf for many years, also played in the tournament paired with Preston Summerhays, who is Boyd’s 13-year-old son, and is named after Lynn’s dad and who was one of the University of Utah’s great athletes and coaches.

So, without any fanfare, and the general public completely unaware, one of the biggest golf events of the year took place at Nibley Park in the form of the previously unheard of Nibley Park Parent-Junior Scramble.

“Any opportunity to play in a group like that, I will snatch it up every time,’’ Daniel said. “I’ll play on the biggest stage in golf next week, but it doesn’t matter. This was just as fun, if not more fun. This is the best way to prepare mentally, to enjoy the game the way it’s supposed to be through the eyes of a couple of 7-year-olds.’’

“Family is the most important thing in life for sure and there aren’t many arenas in life where I can play with my son, my brother and my nephew and then in the group in front of me is my nephew, my niece and my father,’’ he said.

Congratulations to Daniel and Tony for putting the tournament on the map, and perhaps it will even bring attention of the great Salt Lake City junior golf program to the attention of the city fathers and mothers who seem unaware of the importance of golf to families in Utah.