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With PGA Tour spots up for grabs, the stakes are high at this week’s Boise Open

Lucas Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, has six wins as a professional and nearly $20 million in career earnings.
Lucas Glover, the 2009 U.S. Open champion, has six wins as a professional and nearly $20 million in career earnings. AP file

It’s time once again to watch the pros tee it up, as the Albertsons Boise Open returns to Hillcrest Country Club for a 29th consecutive year.

This year’s tournament carries the added significance of being the third stop of the four-event Tour Finals. The finals format features 75 players from the Tour and 75 players from the PGA Tour battling it out for status on the PGA Tour next season.

The format has led to some formidable fields in Boise the past few years, and that’s the case again this year.

Among the players in the field are 2009 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover and 2015 Boise Open winner Martin Pillar, who holds the 72-hole scoring record for the tourney at 28-under par.

Last year’s winner, Chesson Hadley — who was also named the Tour Player of the Year — won’t be playing because he had a solid season on the PGA Tour and qualified for the FedExCup playoffs.

Former Boise State player Troy Merritt, who finished tied for ninth last year, also qualified for the first FedExCup events, so he won’t be attracting big crowds this week.

That said, fans should have their share of prominent golfers to follow around at Hillcrest starting Thursday.

Here are a few players to watch:

Glover: Sure, he’s most famous for that U.S. Open win, but he’s also a three-time winner on the PGA Tour with more than $20 million in career earnings.

Sungjae Im: The South Korea native led the Tour money list wire-to-wire this season. He became the second-youngest winner in Tour history when he took the season opener in the Bahamas at the age of 19.

Sam Burns: The 2017 Division I Men’s Golfer of the Year has had a successful run this season, finishing the regular season No. 2 on the money list.

Peter Manalti: The PGA Tour winner has been rock-solid in the first two rounds of the Finals, finishing in a tie for second and a tie for sixth. He’s wrapped up his return to the PGA Tour.

Hunter Mahan: Another PGA Tour winner who has secured his PGA Tour card for next season. He is coming off a tie for second in the DAP Championship in Ohio, so he’ll be carrying that momentum from the second round of the Tour Finals into Boise, where he made the cut a year ago. Mahan has played on multiple Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams.

Cameron Champ: Like the long ball? Go watch Champ, the 2018 Utah Championship winner. He has averaged 343 yards off the tee this season on the Tour.

What you need to know

Wednesday: Idaho Statesman Junior Clinic, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the Hillcrest driving range. This free clinic for elementary and middle-school students will teach aspiring golfers about grip, aim, stance and posture. TGA Premier Golf will be giving away clubs, and expect to see some members of the Tour on hand.

Thursday-Sunday: Gates open at 7:30 a.m., with tee times tentatively set for 8 a.m. Sunday’s trophy ceremony will take place on the 18th green following play (around 5 p.m.).

Friday: After the second round, Cheap Trick, members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, will perform on the 18th fairway at around 7:15 p.m. Admission is included with a daily or weekly ticket.

Tickets: Available online at; daily tickets may be purchased at the gate for $15.