One way or another, most people get out of the Valley of the Sun during the hot summer months, at least for a while. For the Summerhays family, that means packing their clubs and heading for Utah.
Recently, Grace Summerhays, 15, teed it up alongside the pros with aspirations of qualifying in the Korn Ferry Tour’s Utah Championship. Her brother Preston, 17, already made the field on a sponsor exemption.
After a 76, it was clear she wasn’t going to make it, but the Summerhayses still had two shots at winning. Preston’s and Grace’s uncle, Daniel, was paired alongside Preston for the first two rounds. Unfortunately, Preston missed the cut, but Daniel went on to nearly win the tournament after a three-way playoff.
Before entering the tournament, the BYU All-American with nearly 10 million in prize money on the PGA TOUR already made up his mind to trade tour life for family life.
“It gave me a lot of time to think about what I want to do and evaluate everything,” he told the Deseret News. “The best way I can put it right now, is that the thrill of competition of tournament golf is outweighed by the satisfaction of being at home and being a part of my kids’ everyday life and being with my wife. Also, being a figure in the community, day in and day out, week after week, month after month.”
That’s how they roll – together. Boyd Summerhays, Grace’s and Preston’s dad and Daniel’s brother, was on Preston’s bag during the Utah Championship. As an exceptional player and instructor in his own right, he serves as the Sherpa for Grace’s and Preston’s development. And let’s not forget about Cameron, their younger brother; he’s never far behind.
Daniel and Preston also share an honor as back-to-back champions of the Utah Men’s State Amateur. At age 15, Preston broke the 101-year-old record as the youngest to win. A year later, he set another record as the youngest two-time winner at 16, breaking the mark set by Daniel in 2000 and 2001 at 17 years old.
Well on their way, Grace and Preston are working hard to improve, including competing in JGAA tournaments. Preston got the ball rolling in 2012 and has played in 42 JGAA tournaments since then. The current US Junior champion and verbal commit to ASU notched nearly 10 wins, including the only two he entered in 2020. Grace started a bit later, but certainly made up for lost time, with seven runner-up finishes, and three wins in 12 tournaments entered since 2018.
Whether it’s the JGAA, USGA or AJGA, Grace and Preston’s steady diet of junior golf alphabet soup is certainly fueling them to great things on the golf course. And best of all, they’re surrounded by family to keep it all in perspective.