Golf

Heading to Kentucky’s PGA Tour event this week? Here are some viewing tips.

Tournament director advises fans on the best way to watch the PGA Barbasol Championship

Bryan Pettigrew, tournament director for this week's PGA Tour Barbasol Championship, advises both casual and hardcore golf fans on the best ways to watch the tournament at Keene Trace Golf Club.
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Bryan Pettigrew, tournament director for this week's PGA Tour Barbasol Championship, advises both casual and hardcore golf fans on the best ways to watch the tournament at Keene Trace Golf Club.

Some of golf’s biggest names are coming to Kentucky this week, including native Kentuckian Kenny Perry and former British Open and PGA Championship winner John Daly.

The PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship takes place Thursday through Sunday for the second year in a row at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville.

Fans familiar with the Champions course at Keene Trace will notice some changes since last year, when Troy Merritt won the tournament by one shot.

Whether you follow the PGA Tour religiously, are a more casual golf fan or are just looking for a fun way to spend some time this weekend, new tournament director Bryan Pettigrew says Keene Trace will have something to entertain you.

According to Pettigrew, the event offers more than just watching the golfers.

“We’ll also have some small bands playing,” Pettigrew said. “As well as family day on Saturday of the tournament.”

For the casual fans, Pettigrew recommended volunteering for the tournament, which costs $35 and includes a hat and shirt, which serves as a uniform for the weekend.

“We feed you,” Pettigrew said. “We have all kinds of games and activities and make it fun for the volunteer experience, and if you want to play golf at a future date, you pay $50 for your shirt, your cap and a round of golf.”

The volunteer/golf deal might be enticing for golfers in our area, as one must usually be a member of Keene Trace to play on the Champions course that the tournament is played on, or the Keene Run course.

Tips for watching

Pettigrew suggested that casual fans who aren’t volunteering choose one spot on the golf course, in order to see all of the golfers as they come by. He made a recommendation for where best to set up shop.

“Sitting around on the ninth hole,” Pettigrew said. “There’s shade trees, there’s concessions and there’s open seating around the ninth hole and the 18th hole.”

For more hardcore fans, Pettigrew recommended the opposite strategy. “We’ve got a lot of UK golfers and a lot of guys that have connections to Kentucky that will be coming out here,” Pettigrew said. “So I would say that hardcore golf fans would follow those players around the golf course and watch all 18 of their holes.”

In addition to Perry and PGA Tour veteran Steve Flesch, players in the field with Kentucky ties include recent UK graduates Chip McDaniel, Cooper Musselman, Lukas Euler and Stephen Stallings. They’ll be joined by current Wildcat Cullan Brown, who earned a spot in the field via sponsor’s exemption after a being named to the All-Southeastern Conference Freshman Team.

Other golfers in the Barbasol field with Kentucky ties include Morehead State University graduate and Lexington resident Josh Teater and University of Louisville graduate Derek Fathauer.

The tournament course has been changed this year to reflect the course’s normal route, instead of having the nines flipped as had been the case for last year’s Barbasol Championship. Pettigrew said the new layout will put the most difficult holes at the end of the course, making for a more interesting finish.

Pro-Am day

Attendance for Wednesday’s Pro-Am event at Keene Trace is free and open to the public and includes complimentary parking and shuttle service from Southland Christian Church.

Each pairing in the 48-team Pro-Am field will feature four amateur golfers and one professional on the front nine and then change out with a different pro for the back nine of the competition.

PGA Barbasol Championship

Where: The Champions Course at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville

When: Thursday through Sunday

Purse: $3.5 million

Defending champion: Troy Merritt

Website: BarbasolChampionship.com (for information about tickets, volunteer opportunities, event schedule, July 17 pro-am and more)

TV: All four rounds on the Golf Channel

This week’s schedule

At Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville

Wednesday

6:30 a.m.: Gates open, along with merchandise shop and fan expo

6:30 a.m. and 12:20 p.m.: Tee times for Pro-Am

7-9 p.m.: Pro-Am Reception at Champions Clubhouse

Thursday

7:30 a.m.: Gates open

7:45 a.m.: Opening ceremonies

8:20 a.m.: Competition begins

5-8 p.m.: Live TV coverage on the Golf Channel

Friday

7:30 a.m.: Gates open

8:20 a.m.: Competition begins

5-8 p.m.: Live TV coverage on the Golf Channel

Saturday

7:30 a.m.: Gates open

8 a.m.: Competition begins

4-6 p.m.: Live TV coverage on the Golf Channel

Sunday

7:30 a.m.: Gates open

9 a.m.: Competition begins

4-7 p.m.: Live TV coverage on the Golf Channel

About 7:05 p.m.: Championship ceremony

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