As a former star of the Fremont High School and BYU golf teams, Patrick Fishburn was a natural choice to receive a sponsor exemption into the Web.com Tour’s Utah Championship at Oakridge Country Club in July.
And he’s the kind of player who will be given more help in his pro golf pursuits, through the tournament’s partnership with the Tony Finau Foundation.
Tournament proceeds will “support aspiring professional golfers from Utah,” organizers announced Thursday at the State Capitol. Gov. Gary R. Herbert, Web.com Tour president Dan Glod and Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission, joined Finau in the news conference.
The event will benefit Finau’s foundation, designed to assist youth education and recreation programs. Future plans also call for annually identifying one or more Utahns who have recently turned pro and need help with travel expenses and entry fees as they search for playing opportunities. Finau fit that description for seven years after graduating from West High School in 2007, and he has gone on to earn more than $10 million in four seasons as a PGA Tour member.
Finau played the Web.com Tour in 2014; Utah natives Daniel Summerhays and Zac Blair also used that avenue to reach the PGA Tour.
Fishburn, a former State Amateur winner, turned pro in early June after helping BYU reach the NCAA Championships in May, completing an outstanding college career. He’s playing the Mackenzie Tour in Canada this summer and will take his first shot in the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament this fall.
Prior to his senior year at BYU, Fishburn won the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open last August, shooting a record score of 26 under par for 54 holes at Riverside Country Club in Provo.
The Utah Championship’s field is at another level, but Fishburn hopes to take advantage of his opportunity with a top-25 finish that would give him access to the Web.com Tour’s next event. He received the tournament’s unrestricted exemption; other spots went to Wade Binfield, Hunter Hamrick and Tom Whitney, who won last September’s Sand Hollow Open to earn a berth through The Leavitt Group, a tournament sponsor.
The $700,000 Utah Championship, presented by Zions Bank and televised by Golf Channel, will be staged July 12-15, with Oakridge as the host for the second year. Brice Garnett shot 21 under par for 72 holes to finish one stroke ahead of three players last summer on his way to PGA Tour membership.