Salt Lake City (July 3, 2013) ???????? Tournament organizers today announced the final exemptions for the Web.com Tour’s Utah Championship being held July 11-14 at Willow Creek Country Club. Those players will be competing for a spot on next year????????s PGA TOUR. All fifty PGA TOUR cards will come from playing the Web.com Tour season, as well as the season ending Web.com Tour season ending series event.
In addition to the exemption given to Utah native Zac Blair, this year’s final three exemptions to the tournament have been accepted by Matt Hendrix, Chris Williams and Shaun Micheel.
“As a partner of the PGA TOUR and host of the Utah’s only PGA TOUR event, the Utah Championship, the Utah Sports Commission is thrilled add these talented players to the field of world-class golfers who will be playing in the event,” said Jeff Robbins, president and CEO of the Utah Sports Commission.”
Zac Blair – A student athlete at Brigham Young University with local ties, Zac won the 2009 Utah State Amateur, the Cache Valley Amateur, the Salt Lake City Amateur, the Coral Canyon Amateur, 2011 Pacific Northwest Amateur, while being named Utah Golf Association Player of the Year four years in a row beginning in 2009. Zac holds the distinction of winning six straight tournaments, which according to the Utah Golf Association (UGA), is very unlikely that anyone in Utah history has ever won six consecutive tournaments. He won the 2013 PING Cougar Classic and the 2013 Desert Shootout, shooting a season low 64 during the third round, and concluded the season with 7 top 5 finishes and 11 top 20 finishes.
Matt Hendrix – A Greenville, SC resident, Matt Hendrix qualified for the 1997 U.S. Junior Amateur, was the top rated junior golfer in South Carolina and won the 2003 Sunnehanna Amateur. He also played on the 2003 Walker Cup team.Hendrix played college golf at Clemson University and was a member of the team that won the 2003 NCAA Championship and Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. Following his time at Clemson, Hendrix joined the NGA TOUR in 2005 and earned two top-5 finishes in his first three starts. He finished T29 at the 2006 Q School, earning his PGA Tour card for the 2007 season. He was unable to keep his PGA TOUR card, but he has made 94 starts on the Web.com Tour and his career-best finish (T3) came in 2011. Hendrix has conditional status on the Web.com Tour in 2013 and has played in three events. On the NGA TOUR in 2013, Hendrix has four top 5s, including his first NGA TOUR Pro Series win in the Cutter Creek Classic, in seven starts and sits third on the money list.
Chris Williams – Coming off of a tremendous college golf career at the University of Washington, Chris Williams completed one of the school’s most decorated careers of all-time. He received countless accolades during his college tenure, including the 2013 Ben Hogan Award, given to the top men’s player in amateur and college golf, and the 2012 Mark H. McCormack Award, given to the world’s top-ranked amateur. Williams also was named the Phil Mickelson Freshman of the Year, Pac-10 Player of the Year and a two-time First-Team All-American. A native of Moscow, Idaho, Williams has emerged victorious numerous times, including at the 2012 Western Amateur (both in stroke play and match play), the 2011 Sahalee Amateur Players Championship and the 2011 Pacific Coast Amateur. He also was a quarterfinalist at the 2012 U.S. Amateur and represented the U.S. at the 2012 World Amateur Team Championships in Turkey, helping the Americans secure their first title since 2004. Williams also represented his country at the 2011 Walker Cup and was a two-time member of the USA Palmer Cup Team. After earning an exemption into the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion as the 2012 McCormack Award winner, Williams made his professional debut at the Travelers Championship, where he finished tied for 30th. Finishing at -3, Williams posted rounds of 71, 68, 69, 69.
Shaun Micheel – Born in Orlando, FL, Shaun Micheel played his college career at Indiana University. He turned pro in 1992. He is best known for his surprise 1st place finish on the PGA TOUR at the 2003 PGA Championship, becoming one of the biggest underdogs to win a major in recent times. In 2010 during the U.S. Open, Micheel became the second golfer to make a double eagle in U.S. Open history. He has earned over $9 million in his career.
Fans will be able to follow past champions in the field, including Brett Wetterich (2004), Brendon Todd (2008), JJ Killeen (2011), and the current Web.com Tour’s leading money winner Michael Putnam (2010), as well as PGA TOUR past winners Cameron Beckman, Daniel Chopra, Len Mattiace, among others.
??????The talent level at this year????????s tournament is phenomenal,?????? said Tournament Director Mike Smith. ??????With the restructure of the TOUR with the cards coming through the Web.com Tour, our field will be a great mix of PGA TOUR members, top players on the Web.com Tour, and strong local players like Zac Blair and others. Fans will be treated to some great golf next week.”
In addition to the tournament, there will be “Pink on the Links” activities raising funds for Huntsman Cancer Foundation including professional and Olympic athletes on hand showing their support for the tournament and signing autographs, a $250,000 donation to any pro making a hole in one on the 18th green on Saturday, and a hot dog lunch. The Select Health Kid’s Clinic will be held at the Willow Creek Country Club driving range on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. The clinic will feature golf instruction from touring pros and each participating child will receive a free golf club courtesy of the PGA Section while supplies last. The event is free for children. Select Health will also provide hot dogs and drinks while supplies last.
The Utah Championship will be played July 11-14 at Willow Creek Country Club in Sandy. For information on tickets and volunteer opportunities, please visit www.utahchampionship.com or call 801-495-GOLF.
EVENT SCHEDULE (Events listed are subject to change)
Thursday July 11th
First Round 7:30 am
Friday July 12th
Second Round 7:30 am (Cut to low 60 and ties)
Saturday July 13th
Third Round 9:00 am
Pink on the Links activities
Select Health Kids Clinic Willow Creek C.C. driving range 4:00 pm.
Volunteer Appreciation party Willow Creek swimming pool after completion of play
Sunday July 14th
Final Round 9:00 am
Champions trophy presentation 18th green after completion of play approximately 6:45 pm.