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PROVO, Utah (July 18, 2007) — BYU All-American golfer Daniel Summerhays announced today his decision to turn professional and forego his senior season at BYU. Summerhays made history this past weekend when he became the first amateur golfer ever to win a Nationwide Tour event. A 6-under-par score of 278 gave him a two shot victory at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational in Columbus, Ohio.
The first-place finish gave Summerhays the option of joining the Nationwide Tour for the remainder of the 2007 schedule and all of the 2008 season. He will make his professional debut at the Nationwide Tour Cox Classic at Champions Run Golf Course in Omaha, Neb. July 23.
"I feel it is the right time to take this step. Joining the Nationwide Tour is a once in a lifetime opportunity. My dream has always been to play on the PGA Tour and I feel turning professional is the right thing for me at this time in my career," Summerhays said. "I know it will take an enormous amount of effort and work but I am willing to do what it takes to make my dream come true. I regret not being able to finish my eligibility at BYU but the experiences that the university provided me were priceless and have prepared me for this next stage in life."
During the 2006-07 season, Summerhays was one of 10 golfers named to the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) All-America First Team—the first Cougar golfer to do so since 1986. He was also selected to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America Second Team and named an All-America Scholar by the GCAA.
"Daniel is one of the finest student athletes I have ever associated with. It has been a privilege to have him in our program." BYU head coach Bruce Brockbank said. "We will miss him next year, but are excited for the opportunities in his future. I believe he will be very successful at the professional level and a great ambassador for our golf program and BYU."
Summerhays finished fourth at the 2007 NCAA National Championships and holds the record for lowest single-round score in NCAA history when he shot 60 in the final round at the Golfweek/PING Preview last October.
Maintaining a stroke average of 69.83, Summerhays had the only stroke average in the country under 70 during the 2006-07 season. He is seventh on the NCAA all-time season stroke average rankings.
Summerhays finished 13th or better in 12 of BYU's 13 events this past season, including a win at the PING Cougar Classic. He finished third in the Mountain West Conference tournament, leading BYU to its first MWC Golf Championship since 2001. Summerhays was named All-MWC for the second time, and Academic All-MWC for the third time.
During his sophomore season (2005-06) Summerhays received GCAA All-American Honorable Mention and finished 39th at the NCAA Championships.
As a freshman (2002-03) Summerhays was named MWC Freshman of the Year as well as first-team All-MWC and Academic All-MWC. Summerhays, who is from Farmington, Utah, took two years off between his freshman and sophomore seasons to serve a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Santiago, Chile. He is married to Emily Brinton of Salt Lake City.
Summerhays is a three-time match-play qualifier at the U.S. Amateur. In 2001 he advanced to the quarterfinals and in 2002 he lost in the second-round to eventual Amateur champion Ricky Barnes. He also won back-to-back Utah State Amateur titles in 2000 and 2001. Prior to his victory in the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational, Summerhays captured the Sahalee Players Championship in Sammamish, Wash., July 4-6.
Summerhays follows in his family's footsteps of professional golf. His brother, former PGA Tour member, Boyd Summerhays, currently plays on the Nationwide Tour with partial exemptions. He is the nephew of Champions Tour player Bruce Summerhays and cousin of former LPGA Tour golfer Carrie Roberts.
Summerhays, who needs four classes to graduate, plans to complete his bachelor's degree in financial services from the BYU Marriott School of Management.