FARMINGTON — Former BYU golfer Rhett Rasmussen has played thousands of rounds of golf in the Beehive State and made a point to visit the lone pro stop on the Korn Ferry Tour for each of the past several years.
But nothing he'd seen before was quite like Thursday when he made his Tour debut at the Utah Championship.
"I've come out to this tournament every year and watched, but never been in it as a pro," said Rasmussen, who shot even-par 71. "Being home and being in front of my family makes me super comfortable."
Even better, the Corner Canyon product brought plenty of family members and supporters along with him as close to a dozen people walked the 18 holes at Oakridge Country Club with him.
"I had a lot of family out there today," Rasmussen told KSL.com. "It was nice. They don't get to come watch me very much, so it's nice when they do."
Rasmussen, who turned pro in 2020 as his BYU career wrapped up at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, jumped into the field in Monday's qualifier at TalonsCove.
The 23-year-old Draper native played in four events on the newly-formed Forme Tour, an eight-tournament mini-tour from June to September that will offer Official World Golf Rankings points and a spot on next season's Korn Ferry Tour to the top five players in the Order of Merit at the end of the season.
Rasmussen has missed the cut in each, with his best outing at the Auburn University Club Invitational over the Fourth of July weekend.
"Pro golf is tough," Rasmussen said. "It's not really as glamorous as everybody thinks it is. You're grinding every week, and if you don't play well, you come home early.
"I've learned a lot, but mostly to stay patient after my bad rounds, and just try to rebound."
Wyoming native Joshua Creel and former University of Kentucky golfer Mark Blakefield are tied for the lead after shooting 8-under-par 63 in Thursday's opening round. Erik Barnes, Derek Ernst, Brett Stegmaier and Steve Alker are one shot back.
"I got off to a hot start, birdied two of the first three, and then I got stuck in neutral for most of the round," Fishburn said. "Overall, not too bad; it's a decent round. But I think if I can sharpen up the wedges, it'll give me a chance to go low tomorrow."
Friday's second round will be streamed live on the NBC Sports App and GolfChannel.com from 3-6 p.m. MT.
For Rasmussen, he'll try to duplicate the success he had in Monday's qualifier in Saratoga Springs, where he notched six birdies and an eagle, soaring to a score of 8-under 64 to finish tied for third and clinch a spot in the eight-team qualifier by one stroke.
"I've played this qualifier, and missed it by a stroke for three years in a row," he said. "I just knew that I didn't have to do anything crazy; just play solid, make that one putt at the end, and I did that."