Utah’s Patrick Fishburn earns first PGA TOUR card after winding journey
Newburgh, IN (October 8, 2023) — Patrick Fishburn nearly got there a year ago.
The Brigham Young University alum finished 28th on the Korn Ferry Tour Finals Points List in 2022, ultimately three strokes shy of a PGA TOUR card at the season-ending Korn Ferry Tour Championship presented by United Leasing & Finance.
At the same golf course one year later, there is no “nearly” about it – Fishburn is #TOURBound. After a tie for 20th at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship, the 31-year-old finished 19th on the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour Points List. The top 30 on the season-ending Points List earned 2024 PGA TOUR membership.
Fishburn had a rough start to the 2023 campaign – he’ll be the first to admit. Five missed cuts in a row is a less-than-ideal way to begin a season on the Korn Ferry Tour that is quite literally a race and where quite literally every point counts.
Fishburn said earlier in the season that part of that early-season struggle was due to an equipment change (including golf ball). But once he got more in control of things, he said, he was off to the races. He finished tied for third at the Veritex Bank Championship.
There’s a great reason for why Fishburn wasn’t as dialed in when the calendar turned as he would have liked. His son, Ty, was born in December and had some breathing problems and needed to spend time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to receive special care. Fishburn wanted to spend as much time at home as possible with Ty and his wife, Madison, so his usual wintertime escape to Scottsdale, Arizona was essentially cancelled. It was indoor-balls only until the first event of the year.
“Went to the Bahamas straight from hitting on an indoor facility and all of a sudden its blowing 30 (mph) and we’re hitting off Bermuda grass I wasn’t used to. It took some time to figure out the game, but Dallas kind of helped me turn the corner and ever since then my ball-striking has been very consistent all year, and that’s been the key for my game,” said Fishburn, who managed to get things tightened up just fine – he led the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour in greens in regulation.
Fishburn had a very solid summertime stretch, but he essentially locked up a PGA TOUR card for the first time after he finished tied for seventh at the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper and then losing in a dramatic playoff at the NV5 Invitational presented by Old National Bank.
Fishburn disappointingly missed the cut in his hometown event in Utah, but he closed out the year with three more top-25 finishes, including at the season finale. The epitome of it’s not how to start, it’s how you finish.
He was inching closer to this opportunity for years. On PGA TOUR Canada, Fishburn captured the season finale in 2019 to earn a Korn Ferry Tour card for the first time. He was a celebrated amateur and junior golfer in Utah. He won the state’s open in 2017 by eight shots as an amateur and was twice named the Utah Golf Association Player of the Year. It was a bit of a no-brainer – he won over 60 tournaments before he headed to BYU. The only thing that maybe would have held him back from playing more golf was how good he was at basketball. He was named to the all-state team in 2010-11.
Alas, golf won out. And Fishburn, who spent two years as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between his freshman and sophomore seasons at BYU, now gets to join some fellow Utah natives on the PGA TOUR, including, perhaps, the most celebrated of them all – Tony Finau.
Finau has long given back to the up-and-coming golfers from his home state, and in 2019 Fishburn was the first to receive financial support from the Tony Finau Foundation. It was a $40,000 donation.
“I feel like he has the potential to play at the highest level,” Finau told a local NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City three years ago. “He has shown signs of greatness in his game and I think he just needs an opportunity, and that’s exactly what we are trying to do: give the best player in Utah the opportunity to play at the highest level.”
Finau knew then.
Fishburn proved it now.