It was a remarkable weekend for Utahns in various professional and amateur golf tournaments throughout the country, particularly past and current members of the BYU men’s golf team.
Where to start?
How about with a champion?
Rising BYU junior Tyson Shelley, a Skyline High product, won the prestigious 2023 Pacific Coast Amateur on Friday at Capilano Golf and Country Club in West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Shelley, a member of BYU’s NCAA Finals team in 2023, made a birdie on the second playoff hole to defeat Australia’s Jack Buchanan and capture the title after shooting 13-under par 267 in the 72-hole tournament.
Shelley shot a 62 in the final round Friday to tie a course record that has stood for more than 20 years.
“I feel like everything clicked today,” he said in a school news release. “My driver has been exceptional all week. Today, it was down the middle every time. My putts were lipping out throughout the week, but (Friday) everything fell inside the hole. I think that’s what led to my 62 today.”
Incoming BYU freshman Cooper Jones shot 6-under 274 to tie for 13th in the same tournament, while rising BYU senior Keanu Akina and rising BYU junior Zac Jones, the 2022 State Am champion and Cooper’s brother, tied for 53rd at 8-over.
The list of other former BYU golfers who have won the Pacific Coast Amateur includes Billy Harvey (2000), Mike Reid (1976), John Fought (1975) and Mike Brennan (1973), according to Utah golf historian Kurt Kragthorpe.
Tyson joins an impressive list of BYU golfers who have won this prestigious event: Mike Brannan (1973), John Fought (1975), Mike Reid (1976) and Billy Harvey (2000). Plus, Bountiful’s Kurt Bosen, an amateur star in the ’80s and ’90s, won in 1984. https://t.co/wsbPce9AZ8
— Kurt Kragthorpe (@UtahGolfers) July 29, 2023
Former BYU golfer Patrick Fishburn loses playoff
Former BYU golfer Patrick Fishburn almost recorded his first win on the PGA’s Korn Ferry Tour on Sunday, losing in a playoff to former Auburn standout Trace Crowe at the NV5 Invitational near Chicago.
Still, Fishburn rose from No. 39 to No. 15 in the KFT standings with a couple months remaining in the season.
The top 30 finishers earn PGA Tour cards in 2024.
Fishburn, former BYU golfer Daniel Summerhays and former University of Utah golfer Blake Tomlinson — who missed the cut in a PGA Canada Tour event Friday — are among the Utahns who will compete in the KFT’s Utah Championship this week at Oakridge Country Club in Farmington.
Sunday, Fishburn rolled in a 40-footer for eagle on the 72nd hole at The Glen Club to shoot 7-under 64 for the day and 25-under 259 for the tournament and force the playoff with Crowe.
However, Crowe returned the favor on the first playoff hole, staying alive by making a 30-footer for birdie to match Fishburn’s birdie.
On the second playoff hole (also the 18th hole at The Glen Club), Fishburn’s third shot stayed in a bunker, his fourth shot was 20 feet beyond the flag and his par putt just missed, enabling Crowe to win the playoff with a par.
“Pat is a great dude, a great player. That was fun,” Crowe told Barstool Sports’ live stream broadcast.
Zac Blair, Peter Kuest, Tony Finau in top 50 at 3M Open
Four current or former Utahns entered the second-to-last PGA Tour event of the 2022-23 regular season, and all four acquitted themselves well.
PGA Tour star Tony Finau entered Sunday in contention to win his seventh tournament after missing the cut at last week’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool, but could never get it going in the final round and finished tied for seventh at 15-under.
Finau remained in 10th place in the FedEx Cup standings. He earned $245,000, after winning the event last year.
Alabama graduate Lee Hodges became a first-time winner with a 24-under 260 and pocketed $1.4 million for the win.
But the big story for Utah golfers is that former BYU Cougar Zac Blair shot a 7-under 64 Sunday and tied for 13th to earn $135,000.
Blair, who returned to the Tour in 2022 after missing nearly two years recovering from labrum surgery, has now secured his PGA Tour card for the 2023-24 season.
After tearing his labrum in 2020, @Z_Blair missed two years of competition.
Returning on a medical extension, Blair regained form, highlighted by a career-best T2 @TravelersChamp.
Needing a two-way T31 to secure his status, Blair is currently T13 and will maintain his card 👏 pic.twitter.com/FNrMVGp4Gl
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) July 30, 2023
Also Sunday, former BYU golfer Peter Kuest continued his remarkable late-season run and finished T50 in Minnesota.
Kuest and Blair will play in the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina, next week.
Two-time Utah State Amateur champion Preston Summerhays, an Arizona State golfer who was born in Farmington but now lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, was given a sponsor exemption into the 3M Open but missed the cut by a shot.