Farmington • PGA Tour player Tony Finau of Lehi endorsed the newly named Korn Ferry Tour by citing how he played at this level only four years before making the U.S. Ryder Cup team.
Odds are that multiple members of future teams are competing this week at Oakridge Country Club in the Utah Championship. The process also goes in the other direction. Boo Weekley, a star of the Americans’ 2008 Ryder Cup victory, is using the tour as one of his avenues in coming back from an 18-month absence due to tendinitis in his elbow and cancer in his shoulder.
Weekley, 45, is playing in selected PGA Tour events as a past champion and sponsor invitee and competing regularly on the Korn Ferry Tour, with a best finish of a tie for 10th place in the Chitimacha Louisiana Open in March.
He's just another example of a talented, diverse field at Oakridge, where the 72-hole event will be staged Thursday through Sunday. “The competition's deeper and deeper every year,” said Farmington native Daniel Summerhays, another PGA Tour veteran who's trying to get back to that level.
When • Thursday-Sunday
Where • Oakridge Country Club, Farmington
TV • Golf Channel, 4-7 p.m. daily
The young stars just keep coming. Scottie Scheffler, 23, is the hottest player in the Utah Championship field, having finished in the top seven in six of last seven starts, with a victory and two second-place finishes. That run resembles Cameron Champ’s performance coming into Oakridge last July, although Champ had yet to win a tournament before shooting 24 under par for for rounds in Farmington.
Scheffler is the kind of player the Korn Ferry Tour develops. There's also a place for the likes of Weekley, as an accomplished golfer who lacks full access to the PGA Tour. He's known as one of the best ball-strikers in the game, and his Ryder Cup performance at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Ky., remains memorable. After hitting his drive on the first hole, he famously did a “Happy Gilmore” impression by pretending to ride a bull as he walked toward the fairway.
That scene established him as a golfer who didn’t take himself too seriously. The cancer scare gives him even more perspective.
“I guess I have a different outlook [after] all this came about and, well, the worst thing that can happen is if I don’t play golf, then at least I’ll have every day with my boys,” he told PGATour.com.
He’s healthy and back on the golf course, though, determined to make more of his career. So he’s in Utah again, 11 years after playing at Willow Creek Country Club in Sandy on his way to the PGA Tour.