by Tom HARALDSEN
FARMINGTON—For the second straight year, the Web.com Tour’s Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank and hosted by the Utah Sports Commission comes to Oakridge Country Club in Farmington. Some of the top professional golfers in the world, including past and future PGA Tour players, will compete for their share of the $700,000 prize money. It is one of the largest purses on the Web.com Tour.
At a press conference in the Utah Capitol rotunda last week, PGA star Tony Finau, a graduate of West High School and a resident of Lehi, announced the tour is partnering with the Tony Finau Foundation to support aspiring professional golfers from Utah. Along with other PGA Tour players from Utah, Finau will provide resources and help develop young, talented players who may not have the financial means to chase their golf dreams. The Utah Championship will also direct a portion of its charitable proceeds to help fund the Foundation’s efforts.
“I’m incredibly excited for the Tony Finau Foundation to partner with both the Utah Sports Commission and Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank – a tournament I have fond memories of here in my hometown,” said Finau. “Through this partnership, we’ll be able to further my Foundation’s efforts to support youth education and recreation programs, as well as launch a development and mentorship initiative to assist a promising young player from Utah in reaching their dream of playing on the PGA TOUR one day and representing our proud state on the world stage.”
Joining Finau at the press event were Utah Sports Commission President & CEO Jeff Robbins, Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert and Web.com Tour President Dan Glod.
Robbins announced that recent BYU graduate Patrick Fishburn, who turned professional earlier this year following graduation, has been given one of four exemptions into the tournament. The other three were given to golfers Wade Binfield, Hunter Hamrick and Tom Whitney. The Web.com Tour has been the starting point for hundreds of players now on the PGA Tour, including last year’s winner in Farmington, Brice Garnett. He earned his Tour card and has already won an event this year in Puerto Rico. Finau played in the Utah Championships twice when it was contested at Willow Creek Country Club in Sandy. He is an emerging star on the PGA Tour, where he’s earned over $10 million in his career. He has top 10 finishes this year in both the Masters and U.S. Open, and is 11th in the FedEx Cup points standings.
Finau is the latest in a long line of PGA Tour players with ties to Utah, including World Golf Hall of Fame members Billy Casper and Johnny Miller, as well as current Tour members Daniel Summerhays and Zac Blair.
The schedule for this year’s Utah Championships accompanies this story. Tickets for the 2018 event can be purchased at the box office, located at Oakridge Country Club. For information and volunteer opportunities, visit UtahChampionship.com or call 801.328.2372.