FARMINGTON, Utah (ABC4 Sports) – Kristoffer Ventura defeated Joshua Creel on the third playoff hole to win the Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank.
Ventura carded a final-round bogey-free 65 before eventually winning with a par on the third extra hole at Oakridge Country Club.
“This is unreal and I’m really happy to be in this position,” Ventura said. “I did everything I could before [the playoff] and I just figured if someone is going to win, I’ll try my best. As long as I do that, I’ll be happy afterwards. Obviously, it turned out to be pretty good.”
Ventura began the final round three shots off the lead. The 24-year-old carded birdies on Nos. 1 and 5 to get to 10-under for the week. Despite windy conditions in the afternoon, Ventura kept his momentum going on the back nine.
He rallied with birdies on Nos. 12, 13, 15 and 17 to get to 14-under for the championship, earning him a spot in the playoff with Creel. Both Ventura and Creel parred the first two playoff holes.
On the third extra hole, Creel’s par attempt lipped out, leaving Ventura a tap-in par to secure his first Korn Ferry Tour title. With the victory, Ventura earned 500 Korn Ferry Tour points and moved to No. 17 in The 25.
“Being on the PGA TOUR has always been a dream of mine,” Ventura said after his victory. “I’ve gotten a taste of it. It’s been my goal this whole time. Now I’m a little closer. But next week is a new week and I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and trust the process.”
Earlier this season, Ventura made the most of a sponsor exemption at the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation, where he finished T3 in just his third start on the Korn Ferry Tour.
Prior to his top-5 at the BMW Charity Pro-Am, Ventura was struggling to earn starts through Monday qualifying.
“A few weeks ago, I got in an invite to the BMW Charity Pro-Am and finished in a tie-for-third there and after that I was able to plan my schedule and that was the biggest thing for me,” he said. “Before that, I was playing Monday qualifiers and that was pretty tough mentally. To be in this position now, it’s incredible.”
Utah’s Danny Summerhays, who grew up a few miles from Oakridge Country Club and was tied for the lead going into the final round, shot a 70 and finished at 12-under par, all alone in 6th place.