It’s the history, the legacy of the Masters and Augusta National and I just can’t wait to get out there and spend a great week on the golf course, especially with my family. —Daniel Summerhays
FARMINGTON — Former BYU golfer and Kaysville resident Daniel Summerhays has played on some big stages during his pro career on the PGA Tour.
But next week, Summerhays, 33, will take the biggest stage of them all when he competes in the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club for the first time.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to play in my first Masters this coming week. I really can’t describe how I’m going to feel once I tee it up on No. 1 on Thursday,” Summerhays told reporters Wednesday at Oakridge Country Club in Farmington. “But I’ve played in a lot of big tournaments before — several U.S. Opens, PGA Championships, the British Open, but this will be different. There’s no question. It’s the history, the legacy of the Masters and Augusta National and I just can’t wait to get out there and spend a great week on the golf course, especially with my family.”
Summerhays and his father, Lynn, traveled to Augusta 2½ weeks ago, played a round on the course and received a day-long personalized tour of the manor, the clubhouse and the tunnels.
“It’s pretty special. We got the full tour from a guy who has been there his whole life,” Summerhays said. “We had a member that showed us everything. During the round, he explained the history. He grew up at Augusta National. It was near and dear to his heart. It was more than we could have ever asked for and that all adds to the legacy of it and the aura. Having a picture of the grounds in my mind already sets me at ease a little bit.”
The advice Summerhays has received from those who have played in the Masters is to become as familiar as possible with the course.
“I’m going to get out there Saturday, play Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday,” he said. “I’m going to get really comfortable out there because the green speeds will be up. That was good advice, just to get as close to the tournament as you can to prepare for it It’s something different than any other event.”
While receiving an invitation to play in the Masters is an honor, Summerhays is hoping to not just be part of the tournament, but to have a strong performance in the race for the fabled green jacket.
“This is definitely a special, unique experience to play in the Masters. It would be the pinnacle if I were able to play really well in the Masters,” he said. “This is definitely a lifetime achievement. There are people who have played on tour for 15 years and made a great career and never played in the Masters. To qualify is a very, very unique and special experience that I will never forget. Hopefully I will be able to improve my game, get better and compete in the Masters.”
Summerhays knows by playing in the Masters, he’s not just representing himself and his family, but also his community and the state of Utah.
“I feel a lot of responsibility. It is the biggest tournament in the world. If anybody watches a golf tournament, it’s the Masters,” he said. “I’ve already gotten a lot of texts, even this week, telling me good luck from people in the community. It’s a responsibility that I feel. It’s a privilege to represent Farmington and Utah and all the people here in the state. The game is growing in the state. We have Tony Finau and Zac Blair out there with me. It’s pretty neat what Utah golf is accomplishing.”