In late June, Zac Blair left Oakridge Country Club in Farmington after the Utah Championship, feeling good about his golf game and disappointed with his attitude on the course.
Blair's outlook improved markedly Sunday, when he won the Korn Ferry Tour's Ellie Mae Classic in northern California. Or maybe a better frame of mind is what enabled him to win.
Either way, the victory will send the graduate of Fremont High School and BYU back to the PGA Tour for the 2019-20 season that starts in mid-September.
Blair shot 66-65-65-67 for a total of 17 under par at TPC Stonebrae, the course where Lehi’s Tony Finau won a tournament in 2014 and advanced to the PGA Tour. Blair earned $108,000 for finishing one stroke ahead of Brandon Crick, who birdied No. 17 and had a chance to force a playoff, but missed a 25-foot birdie attempt on No. 18.
Blair, who lives in Orem, moved from 31st to 10th in the points standings. One regular-season tournament remains, followed by the three-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
Having clinched a spot among “The 25” players who will advance to the PGA Tour, Blair said, “It's nice to lock it up and get it done.”
Blair initially joined Finau on the PGA Tour for the 2014-15 schedule and earned $3.3 million over four seasons, before losing his access last August. He played consistently on the Korn Ferry Tour for most of the 2019 season, with a tie for 11th place in the Utah Championship launching a nice run toward the end of the schedule.
“I definitely figured things out a little bit — or got back on track, I guess I would say,” Blair said. “I tried to clean up my attitude; I was maybe getting a little down on myself, a little negative, and that’s not who I am.”
Blair, who will turn 29 on Aug. 20, finished in the top 10 in three of the next four tournaments before breaking through in Hayward, Calif. He trailed by one stroke entering the final round and moved ahead with a birdie on the par-4 No. 14, after making what he described as three big par saves on the front nine.
Blair was disappointed about failing to birdie the par-5 No. 15 as Crick, playing with him, made a run. But pars on the last four holes were good enough for Blair.
The victory is Blair's sixth top-10 finish of the season and gives him earnings of $228,053.
The PGA Tour’s 2019-20 schedule starts in mid-September in West Virginia, although incentives remain for Blair this month. The 25 graduates’ priority for filling tournament fields will be determined by a combination of their performances in the regular season and the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.
Blair joined Finau and Daniel Summerhays as Utah-native winners on the Korn Ferry Tour, now in its 30th season under various names. Summerhays is No. 121 in the standings and will need a high finish this week in Portland, Ore., just to make the top 75 and earn a berth in the Finals.