Five Kentuckians are set to compete in the 43rd Boys Junior PGA Championship, which begins Tuesday at Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville.
Canon Claycomb, a Bowling Green native, is ranked third among all class of 2020 golfers by Golfweek. Claycomb’s family moved to Florida last year so that he could golf year-round, but the former Greenwood High School star still lists Bowling Green as his hometown on tournament entries. He’s among the favorites to win next week’s title and the spot on the U.S. Junior Ryder Cup team that comes along with it.
Claycomb, who in January committed to the University of Alabama, won the Ping Invitational, a high-profile youth event that featured 14 of the top 20 golfers in the Rolex American Junior Golf Association rankings, with a tournament-record score (it previously was held by Jordan Spieth). He was named Area Player of the Year by the Orlando Sentinel in December. He tied for second overall in the 2016 KHSAA state tournament behind Cullan Brown (who signed with the University of Kentucky).
Former St. Xavier star Jay Kirchdorfer, who helped the Tigers win the 2016 state title and finish second overall as a team last year, is in the field. Kirchdorfer has signed with UK.
Two current St. X juniors — Drew Doyle, the state’s reigning Mr. Golf, and Campbell Kremer — will compete in the event. Both finished in the top 10 at the state tournament last season and were first-team All-State selections.
Daviess County junior Daniel Love, who last month won the Kentucky Junior Amateur in Bardstown, rounds out the Kentuckians competing next week.
Akshay Bhatia, who as a sophomore won last year’s Junior PGA Championship, will try to become the first back-to-back winner in the event’s history.