Golf

There are 4 spots in Kentucky’s PGA Tour event up for grabs. These Kentuckians have a shot.

Brandon Brown teed off on the eighth hole during the first round of the U.S. Open in 2013. The Shelbyville native and former EKU star will be one of 52 players competing for one of four spots in the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship during Monday’s open qualifier at Boone’s Trace National Golf Club in Richmond.
Brandon Brown teed off on the eighth hole during the first round of the U.S. Open in 2013. The Shelbyville native and former EKU star will be one of 52 players competing for one of four spots in the PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship during Monday’s open qualifier at Boone’s Trace National Golf Club in Richmond. AP

One great round of golf stands between 52 players and a coveted spot in a PGA Tour event.

Boone’s Trace National Golf Club in Richmond will host the Barbasol Championship Open Qualifier on Monday, and the top four finishers will earn berths in the PGA Barbasol Championship, which will be held at Champions at Keene’s Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville on Thursday through Sunday.

The qualifier field will feature a mix of amateurs and professionals, including some who have won on the PGA Tour. Several Kentuckians will be among the contenders vying for a spot in the Barbasol Championship. Most will be gunning for a shot at their first PGA Tour event.

One exception is Chase Parker. A former University of Kentucky golfer, Parker finished 64th at the 2016 U.S. Open and played in the Barbasol Championship the same year when the tournament was held in Opelika, Ala., though he missed the cut.

Brandon Brown has also tasted PGA competition. The Shelbyville native and former Eastern Kentucky University standout qualified for the 2013 U.S. Open but missed the cut. He made the cut in the 2013 Reno-Tahoe Open, finishing 62nd.

Also playing in Monday’s qualifier will be Georgetown native Ashton Van Horne, the 2016 Kentucky Open winner who has been competing on the PGA’s Mackenzie Tour in Canada in hopes of earning a spot on the Web.com Tour.

Among the amateur competitors will be Evan Davis, a Lexington Christian Academy graduate who was a freshman this past season at Belmont. Davis finished fifth at this year’s Ohio Valley Conference Championship.

Other players with Kentucky ties who will play in Monday’s qualifier include Blanton Farmer (Lexington); J.B. Williams (Danville); Blake Watts (Louisville, U of L); Cody Martin (Covington, UK); Robert Costello (Louisville, EKU); Frankie Morgan (Louisville); Kenny Goodykoontz (Lexington, EKU); Erik Edwards (Louisville); Clayton Portz (NKU); Trey Shirley (Bowling Green, Campbellsville University); Ryne Burnett (Florence, Lindsey Wilson); and Duncan McCormick (Morganfield, Murray State).

Those players, along with the rest of the field, will have to contend with someone who has made a habit of dominating qualifiers this year. T.J. Vogel has won more than $100,000 on the PGA Tour this season by earning seven tournament berths through Monday qualifiers. His most recent PGA Tour appearance was the Greenbrier Classic earlier this month.

“Four players are going to earn what could be life-changing opportunities to join the PGA Tour,” said Barbasol Championship executive director Brooks Downing. “We can’t wait to see whom will be joining us at Champions.”

The first group will tee off at Boone’s Trace at 8 a.m. Monday.

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