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Kragthorpe: Daniel Summerhays settles for another 75 in Augusta sunshine

First Published      Last Updated Apr 24 2017 09:53 pm


Augusta, Ga.

Daniel Summerhays took a Saturday stroll in his first Masters appearance, enjoying the sunshine and perfect playing conditions of Augusta National Golf Club and then quoting Bobby Jones as he stood in front of the clubhouse after his round.

That's where the idyllic description of his afternoon ends. Part of Summerhays' unpleasant walk around the course involved chasing his golf ball as it rolled down slope of the No. 6 green. His experience amid the Georgia pines involved rattling two drives high off the trees on the back nine. And that quote from Jones, the course developer and Masters co-founder? His words are either consoling or indicting: "No one will ever have golf under his thumb."




Summerhays didn't have it Saturday, that's for sure. His second consecutive 75 was much worse than his previous effort, factoring in Friday's wind and the pressure of advancing to the weekend. The former Davis High School and BYU golfer was very happy to keep playing as of Friday afternoon, but his third-round struggles left him disappointed.

Like everybody who fought through the tough times for two days to make the cut, Summerhays hoped to make an upward move Saturday and have some fun. This weekend's rounds are rewarding to his relatives and friends, including those who made the Saturday spreadsheet of the Summerhays family ticket-sharing system.

The loyalists watched him fade mildly to a tie for 43rd place, though. Imprecise iron shots led to bogeys on three of the first six holes. Summerhays misjudged the slightest bit of breeze on the par-3 No. 6 and used too much club, flying his shot over the green. Walking down the hill toward the green, he knew he faced major trouble ahead. Sure enough, his putt from off the green went past the hole on the top tier, rolling almost to the bottom of the green.

"Stupid decision," he said of the choice of clubs.

The middle of the round was more satisfying. Summerhays played the next seven holes in 2 under par. He birdied the par-3 No. 12 for the second time in three days, then knocked his second shot onto the green on the par-5 No. 13 and two-putted for another birdie. At that point, he was feeling good.

And then? "Bad drive on 14, bad drive on 15, bad shot on 16, bad drive on 17, bad drive on 18."

That's an excellent, concise summary of a poor finish. Summerhays did well to par three of those holes, at least salvaging a 75.

Adam Hadwin, playing with him, nearly hit Summerhays' wife, Emily, and mother, Ann, with his hooked drive on No. 15. Summerhays, meanwhile, was playing pinball with the pines to the left of the Nos. 14 and 17 fairways, then nicking a magnolia leaf on the right side of No. 18.

He had driven the ball wonderfully in the wind, hitting 23 of 28 fairways through two rounds, and marveled about how his swing got away from him Saturday. That explains why he invoked Jones' words, before heading to practice with his brother/coach, Boyd Summerhays, in hopes of fixing some things for Sunday's final round.

"There's always something to play for," he said, already looking ahead to a three-week stretch of tournaments after the Masters. Every event is critical to Summerhays, who needs a rally between now and mid-August to keep his PGA Tour access for the 2017-18 season.

The goal of returning to Augusta National via a top-12 finish in the Masters is gone, but Summerhays will play on in the spirit of Jones, who also said, "Golf is the only game I know of that actually becomes harder, the longer you play it."

kkragthorpe@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribkurt

 

AT A GLANCE

Recapping the round: Daniel Summerhays

BEST HOLE » No. 12, birdie. A 12-foot putt resulted in his second birdie of the week on the tricky par-3 hole, with a bogey in between.

WORST HOLE » No. 14, bogey. His drive caromed off a tree and went farther left, forcing him to punch a shot to the middle of the fairway.


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