Summerhays earns Masters spot with PGA finish


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.”

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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.”