BOISE, Idaho - Boise State men's golf head coach Kevin Burton will be competing in the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Sept. 15-18, at Hillcrest Country Club, and he will be doing so against two of his former golfers - Graham DeLaet and Troy Merritt.
Burton qualified for the Boise Open by finishing second at the Rocky Mountain PGA Professional Championship, firing an even-par 144 in two rounds at Huntsman Springs Golf Course in Driggs, Idaho. Burton fired a 1-under 71 in the final round, moving up the leaderboard into second place.
With the runner-up effort, Burton also earned an invitation to the 45th PGA Professional National Championship, June 24-27, 2012, at Bayonet and Black Horse in Seaside, Calif.
Earning the right to play in the Boise Open and the PGA Professional National Champion was Burton's ultimate goal, but getting another opportunity to compete with two of his former protégés makes it even more special.
"I've been paired with both Graham and Troy in tournaments before, but it's always nice to have another shot at competing with them," Burton said. "There aren't a lot of sports where coaches get to compete with their players, and it's nice that I'm not caddying for Troy this year. I think I'm finally healed from that."
Merritt is looking forward to another opportunity to compete with his former coach.
"Kevin got the better of me in the Idaho Open at Twin Falls Muni a couple years ago, and he beat me in the match play portion of the Carter Cup that year as well," Merritt said. "We tied in our only appearance together in the Boise Open, but both missed the cut by one."
In addition to getting to play in front of a hometown crowd, Merritt earned his first Nationwide Tour exemption from the Boise Open and considers it a very special event. But he is hoping for a different outcome this year.
"Hopefully I play well and can be in the hunt come Sunday afternoon. I'd also like to get a little revenge on KB, give him a nice belated birthday present and send him to the Champions Tour!"
The Albertsons Boise Open is one of only four tournaments that have existed since the Nationwide Tour's inception, and the event has played host to many of golf's current superstars. The tournament has also provided more than $11.8 million for hundreds of local charities and organizations.
This year is no different.
Two-time PGA Tour major champion John Daly will compete in the Battle of the Big Guns Michelob Ultra Shoot-out, joining RE/MAX long drive champion Jamie Sadlowski in a skins game Sept. 12, at 3 p.m. at Hillcrest. Admission is free to the public.
Daly, who will also play in the Albertsons Boise Open, will donate his winnings from the shoot-out to the Boise State golf programs. The last time Daly competed in the nine-hole event, he won $9,000 for Boise State golf.
"I'm hoping to see a lot of blue and orange in the galleries supporting the Broncos," Burton said. "But more importantly, this is a great event and it does a lot for our community, so I hope to see a large contingent from Boise supporting the tournament."