Golf

Kentucky PGA Tour stop attracts several local players, plus the defending champion.

‘That’ll be the best that you’re gonna see.’ KSR host Matt Jones sinks a tough putt.

Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio made a long putt on the No. 12 hole, a par-4, during the Barbasol Championship Pro-Am event on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, in Nicholasville, Kentucky.
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Matt Jones of Kentucky Sports Radio made a long putt on the No. 12 hole, a par-4, during the Barbasol Championship Pro-Am event on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

The winner of last year’s inaugural PGA Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club will be back to defend his title when the tournament returns to Nicholasville July 18-21.

Iowa native Troy Merritt, who posted a one-shot victory in 2018, was among a group of players Barbasol Championship officials announced Thursday would be part of the 2019 field.

Among those players revealed were several Kentucky natives, including Chip McDaniel, Cooper Musselman, Stephen Stallings Jr., Hunter Stewart and Josh Teater. Other golfers headed to Central Kentucky include 2019 Well Fargo champion Max Homa, last year’s fifth-place Barbasol finisher J.T. Poston, Joel Dahmen, Boo Weekley and Sungjae Im. The finalized field will be announced the week before the tournament.

The Barbasol Championship, which started in Alabama in 2015 and is an alternate event to the British Open which takes place the same weekend, has offered a purse of $3.5 million with a $630,000 winner’s share for all of its previous years.

“This is an impressive field made up of some of the very best golfers in the world,” Bryan Pettigrew, the tournament director, said in a press release. “We’re thrilled to have players with Kentucky ties joining the tournament. This is going to make for a great fan experience here in the Bluegrass and for those traveling to the Barbasol from around the region.”

McDaniel, a former University of Kentucky golfer from Clay County, won the Kentucky state amateur championship in 2013 and 2017, and recently qualified for the U.S. Open, which began Thursday.

Another UK product competing in the Barbasol is Musselman, who currently plays on the Web.com Tour. Musselman won at Crooked Stick in Carmel, Ind., his senior year at UK, his first college victory. His career-best finish at the Southeastern Conference championship was a tie for 16th place his junior year.

The third and final former UK player announced Thursday was Stallings Jr., who also attended St. Xavier where he won the individual state high school championship in 2011. Stallings set the record for lowest 18-hole score in team history at UK and served as captain his senior year. More recently, Stallings launched his pro career, finishing third in the 2018 Kentucky Open.

Teater, a Danville native who played at Henry Clay High School and Morehead State, tied for 40th in last year’s Barbasol. He has played in 17 events on the PGA Tour this season, earning $216,033.

Stewart originally hails from Lexington and attended Lexington Christian Academy, but headed to Vanderbilt for his college career, winning SEC Player of the Year during his time with the Commodores.

Tickets for the Barbasol Championship are available at barbasolchampionship.com/tickets/, and more information about the event can be found at the website.

PGA Barbasol Championship

When: July 18-21

Where: Champions course at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville

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