Utah Open: BYU golfer Patrick Fishburn dominates the pros in record-setting performance in Provo

(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Patrick Fishburn doffs his cap to the crowd after finishing his putt on the 18th green, to win the Utah Open golf tournament played at the Riverside Country Club, Sunday, August 27, 2017. Fishburn won by nine strokes over last year's winner, Zahkai Brown.

Provo • By the end of the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open, BYU senior Patrick Fishburn’s standards were ridiculously high.

Playing the 18th hole of Riverside Country Club with an eight-stroke lead Sunday, Fishburn was “a little disappointed” that his drive failed to reach the green of the 415-yard hole.

(Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune) Patrick Fishburn relaxes with his trophy after winning the Utah Open golf tournament played at the Riverside Country Club, Sunday, August 27, 2017. Fishburn crushed the field, with a 26 under score, nine strokes ahead of second place finisher Zahkai Brown at -17.

As for having his chip-shot bid for an eagle miss the hole by 2 inches, Fishburn could live with that outcome. He tapped in for a birdie, giving him a 26-under-par total in three days and a nine-shot win over defending champion Zahkai Brown of Colorado.

Brown claimed the $20,000 check as the top professional, explaining his fist-pumping responses to clutch putts on the last few holes, even while hopelessly trailing Fishburn. PGA Tour player Zac Blair of Orem finished another stroke back, after closing with a 64.

Fishburn’s 63-64-63 showing beat Nathan Lashley’s 2015 tournament record by four shots, although he didn’t match the 12-stroke margin of victory for Todd Fischer in 2000. Having won the 2016 State Amateur, he joined an elite group of golfers who have won Utah’s most prized amateur and professional trophies. The most recent dual winner was Bruce Summerhays, whose 2008 Utah Open win came 42 years after his State Am victory.

Fishburn’s most meaningful numbers were his 64-63 weekend scores, considering he finished 71-73 last August to tie for fifth place after opening with a 62 that tied the course record. He “played probably a little smarter” this time, he said, but the biggest difference was he just played better, driving the ball almost perfectly and putting well.

“He’s always been good,” said Blair, his former teammate at Fremont High School and BYU.

But not this good, obviously. As any golfer knows, “Usually, there’s something going wrong,” Fishburn said.

That didn’t happen much, if at all, over 54 holes on BYU’s home course. Fishburn started the final round with a seven-stroke lead and ended any remaining suspense with two early birdies and an eagle on the par-5 No. 7.

Brown quickly discovered he was playing for second place – and a lot of money. During the trophy presentation, Fishburn spoke wryly about being eager to spend his $700 merchandise certificate in the golf shop, while Brown filled out a W-9 form in the scoring tent and drove away with the big cardboard check.

Blair added $14,000 to his PGA Tour winnings of nearly $800,000 for the PGA Tour’s 2016-17 season by shooting 16 under par. “I didn’t do anything overly great; I didn’t do anything too bad,” said Blair, who’s starting the four-event Web.com Tour Finals this week in hopes of enhancing his PGA Tour status for the coming season.

Most of Blair’s winnings came at the expense of out-of-state golfers Sunday. B.J. Staten, a former Web.com Tour player from Cottonwood Heights, finished seventh. Riverside assistant pro Chris Moody closed with a 65 to tie for eighth and earn a $500 bonus as the top Utah Section PGA member. Special Olympics Utah, the longtime tournament charity, received a $60,000 contribution.

Final results

Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open at the par-72 Riverside Country Club (a-amateur):<br>190 – a-Patrick Fishburn (63-64-63). 199 ($20,000) – Zahkai Brown (70-64-65). 200 ($14,000) – Zac Blair (68-68-64). 201 ($10,000) – Luke Vivolo (68-66-67). 202 ($6,000) – Edward Olson (65-69-68). 203 ($5,000) – Jesse Mueller (67-68-68). 204 ($4,000) – B.J. Staten (69-66-69). 205 ($3,250) – Chris Moody (71-69-65), Riley Arp (66-72-67), Mitchel Carlson (68-70-67), Calum Hill (68-67-70). 206 ($2,233) – Gregor Main (68-69-69), Ty Travis (66-69-71), Neil Johnson (68-67-71). 207 ($1,850) – Brandon Kida (70-71-66), Tommy Sharp (73-65-69), a-Rhett Rasmussen (70-71-66). 208 ($1,650) – Pete Fernandez (70-70-68), Tele Wightman (70-69-69). 209 ($1,450) – Jere Pelletier (71-70-68), Alex Chiarella (71-66-72). 210 ($1,275) – Derek Barron (74-69-67), Blake Cannon (67-74-69), Jordan Rodgers (72-69-69), Matt Baird (69-70-71), a-Blair Bursey (73-67-70). 211 ($1,150) – Dean Wilson (72-73-66). 212 ($1,025) – Jimmy Makloski (72-71-69), Joe Parkinson (71-71-70), Dusty Fielding (71-71-70), Austyn Karle (67-72-73). 213 ($900) – Daryl Spivey (75-68-70). 214 ($837) – Jacob Holt (74-72-68), Davis Garner (72-71-71), a-Peter Kuest ( 71-69-74). 215 ($762) – Scott Smith (71-73-71), Seokwon Jeon (71-70-74), Tyler Weworski (70-73-72), Milo Lines (71-72-72), a-CJ Lee (78-67-70). 216 ($700) – Sam Jandel (74-69-73). 217 ($650) – Steele DeWald (74-72-71), Ryan Rhees (73-72-72), James Drew (69-73-75), Matthew Nolasco (74-67-76), a-Chad Hardy (72-72-73), a-Oscar Maxfield (72-70-75). 218 ($590) – Kane Webber (73-73-72), Zach Johnson (75-71-72), a-Zach Jones (75-70-73). 219 ($540) – Shawn Edwards (73-73-73), Casey Fowles (75-70-74), Pete Stone (73-73-74). 220 ($500) – Jonathon Thomas (68-78-74), a-Cole Ponich (70-75-75). 221 – a-Jacob Boyce (75-70-76). 222 ($490) – Tracy Zobell (74-72-76), a-Kelton Hirsch (77-68-77). 223 ($475) – Chip Wesley (73-72-78), Chad Pettingill (70-72-81).

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