This is an archived article that was published on in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Zac Blair is not having the best summer among Utah Junior Golf Association alumni — if you count Rory McIlroy in that group, as I do.

Yet everything the former BYU golfer has done in the past six weeks on the Tour rivals McIlroy's major achievements, in its own way.

Blair already has created a solid professional golf opportunity for himself, and it may be get even better. By making money in all six tournaments — including a tie for second place Sunday in the Price Cutter Charity Championship in Springfield, Mo. — Blair has assured himself of Tour membership for the 2015 season.

More immediately, he's eligible for the four-event Tour Finals that start Aug. 28, with 25 players earning PGA Tour cards.

That's a remarkable development for a golfer who was merely trying to piece together a summer schedule.

So there's no Ecuador in Blair's future. If not for this summer's success, Blair would have had to return to PGA Tour Latinoamerica when the split-season schedule resumes in September, hoping to finish in the top five on the money list and earn Tour access.

Based on his low finish in the qualifying tournament last December, Blair had little access to Tour events in 2014. But in early July, the remote nature of the Nova Scotia Open created an opening for him, and he took advantage with a tie for seventh place. He followed that with a tie for 11th in the Utah Championship at Willow Creek Country Club, suddenly moving ahead of many golfers who had played a full schedule.

That eventually helped him get more access, via a performance-based reordering of eligibility. So he has kept playing every week, and his latest effort was especially important. Blair barely missed a chance to compete in a five-way playoff in Missouri as Cameron Percy took a one-stroke victory Sunday. But Blair's check for $44,550 moved him to 41st on the money list with $87,899, clinching a top-75 finish with two weeks left in the regular season.

West High School graduate Tony Finau and Orem native Scott Pinckney (whose family housed McIlroy in the summer of 2000, when the boys were 11) also will play in the Tour Finals. Finau already knows he's headed to the PGA Tour in October, with his No. 6 ranking. But the top 25 players still have to play for position in that series. Pinckney (No. 53) and Blair will compete among 125 players for the other 25 cards that will be awarded.

The best part for Blair is he's assured of nothing worse than Tour status for 2015, as a top-75 player.

Twitter: @tribkurt —

Blair's big summer

Zac Blair's 2014 Tour results:

Tournament Finish Money

Nova Scotia Open T7 $18,915

Utah Championship T11 $13,750

Boise Open T25 $6,083

Midwest Classic T34 $3,064

Stonebrae Classic 62nd $1,536

Price Cutter Championship T2 $44,550

comments powered by Disqus