PROVO — Last year Patrick Fishburn produced the best performance in the history of the Utah Open, shooting an astonishing 26-under-par 190 total for three rounds with scores of 63, 64 and 63.
That gave him a comfortable nine-shot victory over 2016 champion Zahkai Brown as he left the rest of the field in the dust. However, Fishburn was still an amateur at the time and wasn’t able to claim the lucrative first-place check.
This year, Fishburn is back at the Siegfried & Jensen Utah Open at Riverside Country Club as a professional with the opportunity to take home the $20,000 first prize that he had to pass up a year ago.
Fishburn turned professional earlier this summer after earning West Coast Conference player of the year honors for the second straight year as a senior at BYU.
After winning a check at the Provo Open where he tied for sixth, he finished in a tie for 24th place at the Web.com Utah Championship at Oakridge last month and earned $5,381.
Fishburn has played in five tournaments on the PGA’s MacKenzie Tour in Canada this summer and has earned $12,170 while making the cut in all five events. His best finish was a tie for fifth at the Syncrude Oil Country Championship in Edmonton earlier this month.
The Ogden native, who played Riverside hundreds of times during his career as a BYU golfer, will tee off at 1:10 p.m. Friday with two-time champion Clay Ogden and 2017 State Amateur champion Kelton Hirsch.
Another top group tees off just before Fishburn’s group as former champions Mike Reid (1983, ’85) and Dean Wilson (1999) will be playing in the 12:50 p.m. group along with Riverside CC assistant pro Chris Moody, who recently won the Salt Lake City Open.
Three former champions, Pete Stone (2006), James Drew (2012) and B.J. Staten (2014) will tee off together at 12:50 p.m. off No. 10 tee, while former champs Zach Johnson (2013), Nick Mason (2010) and Brown (2016) will tee off at 1 p.m.Comment on this story
OPEN NOTES: The field will be cut to the low 60 and ties after Saturday’s second round . . . Other former champions in the field include Jimmy Blair (1981), Mike Malaska (1974) and Kim Thompson (2001) . . . Top amateurs in the field beside Hirsch include Cole Ponich, Mitchell Schow, Kyler Dunkle, Ryan Brimley, Dan Horner, Darrin Overson, Zach Jones, Austin Banz, and Rhett Rasmussen, who just missed qualifying for match play at the U.S. Amateur earlier this week . . . Fishburn was just the fifth amateur in the 91-year history of the tournament . . . Once again Utah Special Olympics will be the charity for the tournament. Last year Utah Special Olympics received a check for $60,000.