Golf

Pair of PGA winners with Kentucky ties join tour legend in Barbasol Championship field

Photo slideshow: Troy Merritt wins rain-delayed Barbasol Championship in Kentucky

Troy Merritt wins the PGA Tour Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville.
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Troy Merritt wins the PGA Tour Barbasol Championship at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville.

The final field for next week’s PGA Tour event in central Kentucky was announced Friday and several golfers with Bluegrass state ties — along with the defending champion and a PGA legend — highlight the lineup.

A total of 132 golfers are scheduled to compete in the Barbasol Championship, which will be held at Champions at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville for the second year in a row beginning Thursday. On Friday, 14-time PGA Tour winner and Western Kentucky University graduate Kenny Perry was added to the field, along with University of Kentucky graduate and four-time PGA Tour winner Steve Flesch.

Those additions bring further intrigue to a roster that already included defending champion Troy Merritt, who held off a field that was hot on his heels for a one-stroke victory in last year’s tournament, and PGA legend John Daly, the two-time major championship winner who decided to compete in the Barbasol after officials denied his request to use a golf cart in the British Open.

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Wayne Birch, caddie for tournament winner Troy Merritt, took a video with the trophy after Merritt won the PGA Tour Barbasol Championship in 2018. Merritt is returning for this year's tournament at Champions at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville next week. Silas Walker swalker@herald-leader.com

In Merritt and Flesch, this year’s Barbasol will feature the two men who are tied for the lowest score in the history of Keene Trace’s Champions Course (Merritt tied Flesch’s record with an opening-round 62 in last year’s Barbasol).

University of Kentucky fans should have plenty of rooting interest in the Barbasol, as recent UK graduates Chip McDaniel, Cooper Musselman, Lukas Euler and Stephen Stallings will compete in the event after receiving sponsor’s exemptions. They’ll be joined by current Wildcat Cullan Brown, who also earned a spot in the field via sponsor’s exemption after a being named to the All-Southeastern Conference Freshman Team and producing a 72.42 stroke average in his first season at UK.

Other golfers in the Barbasol field with Kentucky ties include Morehead State University graduate and Lexington resident Josh Teater, who entered the final round of last year’s tournament just three strokes out of first place but finished tied for 40th after shooting a 1-over 73, and University of Louisville graduate Derek Fathauer.

Josh Sullivan has worked at the Herald-Leader for more than 10 years in multiple capacities, including as a news assistant, page designer, copy editor and sports reporter. He is a graduate of the University of Kentucky and a Lexington native.
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