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Tony Finau’s appearance at Utah Championship pro-am drives home how the event inspired him

Farmington • Tony Finau sat on the bumper of his car in the Oakridge Country Club automobile parking space Wednesday afternoon and thought of the place he has come from and the place he’s going, in a occupation in part propelled via the Utah Championship.

Finau’s Farmington-to-Paris itinerary this week is excellent snapshot of his professional golfing trajectory. Whether the checkpoint is his fifth-place end 4 years in the past or how he often attended the match (then staged in Sandy) from the time he was once 10 or 11 years previous, the Utah Championship frames his upward thrust in the recreation.

“This is a life-changing tournament for me,” he mentioned.

As the Web.com Tour avid gamers tee off Thursday in the $700,000 event introduced via Zions Bank, Finau shall be flying to Paris. Jim Furyk, the U.S. Ryder Cup captain, invited him to play a few follow rounds with different applicants for the workforce on their option to subsequent week’s British Open in Scotland.

Boosted via top-10 finishes in the first two main tournaments of 2018, Finau is 14th in the U.S. Ryder Cup standings. Eight golfers will routinely qualify for the 12-player workforce in past due August, with the 4 captains’ selections to come back in early September.

Finau performed 9 holes of Wednesday’s pro-am spherical with Gov. Gary R. Herbert, former BYU golfer Patrick Fishburn, excursion president Dan Glod and Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission, the match host. He’s grateful to have the Tony Finau Foundation related to an event that after inspired him, whilst he watched the likes of Zach Johnson win at Willow Creek Country Club.

“I learned to fall in love with the game at this tournament,” he mentioned. “I’m going to put a lot of energy and time into making this the best tournament I can. … Just to have my name as part of it is something I’m really proud of.”

The 2014 Utah Championship didn’t finish neatly for Finau, as an errant tee shot on the again 9 knocked him out of competition. Yet that have helped him practice via with a victory in California quickly later on — sending him to the PGA Tour, the place he has thrived with $10 million in income in lower than 4 complete seasons.

Finau’s luck illustrates the affect of the Web.com Tour as a proving flooring. So does Brice Garnett, who gained the first Oakridge model of the Utah Championship final July and claimed a PGA Tour name this season.

UTAHNS IN THE FIELD: Thursday’s tee instances for avid gamers with Utah ties — Mike Weir, 12:30 p.m.; Scott Pinckney, 2 p.m.; Seokwon Jeon, 2:20 p.m.; Patrick Fishburn, 2:30 p.m.

Four golfers with Utah ties, at various phases in their careers, are in the box this week. Sandy resident Mike Weir is focused on his PGA Tour Champions debut when he turns 50 in 2020. Weir is profiting from a Web.com Tour exemption class for golfers of ages 48 and 49, and has proven excellent indicators in 4 begins after suffering for the previous couple of years on the PGA Tour.

Fishburn, who grew to become professional after his BYU occupation led to past due May, is taking part in by the use of a sponsor exemption this week, whilst spending the summer season on the PGA Tour-branded Mackenzie Tour in Canada. Seokwon Jeon, a former Utah State golfer, complex from Monday qualifying.

Orem local Scott Pinckney, who grew up competing in opposition to Finau in the Utah Junior Golf Association, is a Web.com Tour member. Having overlooked just about a 12 months of pageant with a again damage, Pinckney completed 2d in an event in Kansas final month and is 45th on the season’s cash record. After this weekend, 5 tournaments will stay on the regular-season time table, with the height 25 avid gamers incomes the preliminary spherical of PGA Tour playing cards disbursed for the 2018-19 season that starts in October.

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