Ever since he posted two top-three finishes in the first five tournaments of the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada season, former BYU golfer Patrick Fishburn has given himself an opportunity to advance to the Korn Ferry Tour in 2020.
Fishburn made it happen Sunday by winning the last of the tour's 12 events this season. His 21-under-par total (66-65-64-65) was good for a three-stroke victory in the Canada Life Championship at London, Ontario.
Fishburn, an Ogden native and Fremont High School graduate, finished No. 5 in the season’s Order of Merit. That’s exactly what he needed to earn a spot on the Korn Ferry Tour, which is the primary path to the PGA Tour in the system adopted in 2013.
“One of my big goals was to win out here this year, and I waited until the last one but I was able to pull it off,” Fishburn said. “And obviously, trying to jump into the top five was a goal, so I’m thrilled that I accomplished my goals.”
Making the top five required some cooperation from Hayden Buckley, who dropped from No. 5 to No. 6 overall by closing with a 72 and tying for 27th place Sunday. If Buckley had remained in the top 20 of the tournament, he would have kept Fishburn from making the year’s top five.
Fishburn’s check for $40,500 (Canadian) almost exactly doubled his winnings for the previous 11 events. He had made 10 straight cuts before missing the weekend rounds in the 11th stop. “Missing that cut last week might’ve been a good thing, to refresh and regroup,” said Fishburn, who will play in this week’s Sand Hollow Open in southern Utah.
Fishburn, 27, won the 2016 State Amateur and the 2017 Utah Open during his BYU career. The Tony Finau Foundation gave him a $40,000 subsidy in June, identifying him as a Utahn with great potential in pro golf.
The Korn Ferry Tour schedule will start in January and again will include the Utah Championship at Oakridge Country Club in Farmington. As the No. 5 graduate of the Mackenzie Tour, Fishburn can try to improve his priority ranking by playing in the final stage of Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying in Florida in mid-December. Kyler Dunkle, a former University of Utah golfer, finished 19th in the Order of Merit. He’s exempted into the second stage of the qualifying tournament.