SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – A strong finish at Baltusrol means Daniel Summerhays can pack his bags for Augusta National.
Summerhays closed out the season’s final major with a flurry, carding five birdies across his final seven holes en route to a 4-under 66. He ended the week alone in third place at 10 under, four shots behind Jimmy Walker, marking his best career finish at a major and his second top-10 this year after a T-8 result at Oakmont.
“Well, what a thrill. I’m still shaking a little bit,” Summerhays said. “Just to have a chance to maybe win a major championship was a thrill of a lifetime. Six birdies on the last 10 holes, couldn’t ask for a better finish. I’m going to sleep really well tonight.”
Summerhays played 34 holes during Sunday’s slogfest at Baltusrol Golf Club, and he played the final 21 holes of that stretch in 6 under. The result brought with it a healthy $680,000 payday, but it also means that Summerhays will make his Masters debut next spring by virtue of finishing among the top four and ties.
It’s a scenario Summerhays was thinking about coming down the stretch, and it’s a cherished incentive for a 32-year-old whose best career result is a playoff loss at the 2013 Sanderson Farms Championship.
“I was definitely thinking about that going up the 18th hole. That’s a lifetime dream,” he said. “I have the Augusta theme song memorized. I’ve got the words and everything. I can hear Jim Nantz’s voice in the back of my mind, ‘Hello friends, welcome to Augusta National.’ It’s been a dream.”