PGA Tour event to stay in Kentucky until 2023, hires new management

The PGA Barbasol Championship will remain in Kentucky for the next five years and has hired new tournament leadership, the PGA announced Wednesday.

Barbasol recently signed a five-year extension as title sponsor of the event securing its future at Keene Trace Golf Club’s Champions course in Jessamine County through 2023.

Keene Trace LLC, the new host organization, announced it has hired Global Golf Management to manage the tournament. Bryan Pettigrew, who served as vice president of marketing and sponsorship for the Breeders’ Cup, has been named the new tournament director.

The announcement comes less than a month after the former tournament manager said he was in a dispute with the PGA over payment from the event’s inaugural Kentucky appearance in 2018 and would not be managing the 2019 tournament.

“The Barbasol Championship holds a special distinction as Kentucky’s first PGA Tour tournament in nearly 60 years,” said Tyler Dennis, chief of operations for the PGA Tour. “Combined with a new leadership structure in place, we strongly believe the Barbasol Championship has a very promising future as it continues to provide an important playing opportunity for our members and a positive impact through its support of local charities.”

The inaugural tournament was managed by a non profit, PGALEX Inc., which is connected to bd Global. Bd Global is headed by former Bluegrass Sports Commission chairman Brooks Downing.

Downing said in February not all vendors had been paid from the July 2018 tournament, including the Bluegrass Sports Commission. Downing said the PGA still owed his group money from the event. At the time, Downing said the PGA and his group were working through the disagreement and said he hoped vendors and charities still owed money from last year’s event would be paid soon.

The 2019 event is scheduled for July 15-21.

Beth Musgrave has covered government and politics for the Herald-Leader for more than a decade. A graduate of Northwestern University, she has worked as a reporter in Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi, Illinois and Washington D.C.