Six years after Tony Finau turned pro at age 17, his climb toward the PGA Tour now has some traction.
The former West High School golfer earned an exemption for most of the 2014 Web.com Tour schedule, placing third Tuesday in the final stage of the qualifying tournament at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif.
The top-10 finish gives Finau access to every event until at least the third periodic reordering of qualifiers, based on their performances during the season. Finau shot 69-67-68-68-67-68 for a total of 25 under par in the 108-hole finals, taking advantage of the best opportunity to advance toward the PGA Tour under professional golf’s new qualifying format.
After the 2014 Web.com Tour season, 50 players will move on to the PGA Tour. The schedule has not been released; the annual Utah Championship at Willow Creek Country Club in Sandy has been played in July in recent years.
Finau, a former State Amateur champion, has played various minitours since graduating from West High in 2007, including a PGA Tour Canada stint this year. He had not come close to qualifying for the PGA Tour in the previous Q-school system.
Provo native Scott Pinckney, who also grew up playing in the Utah Junior Golf Association before his family moved to Arizona, finished second at 29 under, two strokes behind medalist Zack Fischer Pinckney had led the tournament after the fifth round.
Former BYU golfers Zac Blair and Clay Ogden will have limited access to Web.com Tour events. Blair, playing as an amateur, shot 6 under to tie for 85th place and Ogden finished at 4 over, tying for 129th.
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