Farmington • Patrick Fishburn probably isn’t going to win the first-place check of $126,000 at the Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank, the Web.com Tour event that is being contested at Oakridge Country Club this week.
But the former BYU golfer, who turned professional a few months ago, is going to win a decent pile of cash — something that didn’t happen the last time he won a tournament in the state of Utah.
Fishburn won the 2017 Utah Open by nine shots at Riverside Country Club in Provo last August but watched then-defending champion Zahkai Brown walk off with the $20,000 first-place check because Brown was a pro and Fishburn was still an amateur.
He easily made the cut at Oakridge on Friday afternoon and is looking to move up the leaderboard heading into the weekend.
Fishburn matched Thursday’s 4-under-par 67 with another 67. However, he said the two rounds were totally different.
“Yesterday, I felt like 67 was about the highest I could have shot,” he said. “I hit it really great and I hardly made anything. But today I was all over the place — off the tee, behind the trees — so it was kind of a scrambling 67.”
First-round leader Cameron Champ, the former Texas A&M star from Sacramento, increased his lead Friday with another spectacular round and set the tournament’s 36-hole record. Champ is at 17-under 125, nine shots ahead of Fishburn and three ahead of Iowa’s Steven Ihm, alone in second place.
The previous 36-hole record was 16-under, set by Chad Collins in 2013 and Kyle Wilshire in 2017.
It is not exactly a crowded leaderboard, as only three golfers are within four shots of Champ.
“For me [breaking the record] doesn’t matter,” he said, after briefly flirting with another course record. His 61 Thursday tied the course record set in last year’s second round by Christian Brand. But Champ bogeyed the par-4 8th, his 17th hole, and had to settle for the 64 Friday.
Oakridge’s nines are reversed for the tournament, and the 517-yard 10th hole (No. 1 for members) is a par-4 instead of a par-5 so par for the course is 71.
Former PGA Tour player Scott Pinckney, who was born in Orem and played the local Utah junior golf circuit before his family moved to Arizona, shot a 66 Friday and is tied for 16th place.
The two other golfers with local ties did not make the cut. Canadian Mike Weir, a BYU product who makes his home in Sandy, followed Thursday’s 71 with a 68 and missed the cut by three strokes. Former Utah State golfer Saekwon Jeon, from Midvale’s Hillcrest High, shot a pair of 72s.
The cut came at 5-under, after it was 6-under last year.
Fishburn now has his sights set on finishing in the top 25, which would make him exempt for next week’s event in Omaha, Neb.
If he doesn’t, it is back to the Mackenzie Tour in Canada, where he has already played in three tournaments and made the cut in all three, but has not finished better than 17th.
“I have been struggling with the putter in Canada,” he said. “Today, I rolled the ball as well as I have in a long time. So hopefully I can build off that momentum, hit it like I did the first day but putt like I did today, and I might shoot a low one.”
With a good-sized gallery of friends and family members following his every shot, Fishburn rallied after a slow start. He shot 4-under 31 on the back nine, making birdies on three of his final four holes.
“We are 15 minutes away [from Ogden, where he grew up], so it is exciting,” He said. “It definitely gives you a lot of energy out there when you hit a good shot and a little roar goes out. You are not really used to that too often, so it is nice.”