Davis & Preston Share Lead After Opening Round
Davis and Preston card rounds of 66 (-5) to share early lead at Indian Hills.
BOWLING GREEN, KY (June 14, 2022) – Two Lexington natives who currently compete or did compete for universities based out of Nashville share the lead after one round of the 108th Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur. About 70 miles north of their respective campuses, Evan Davis of Belmont and Jansen Preston of Vanderbilt each shot 66 (-5) at Indian Hills Country Club to set the early pace in the championship.
Davis, a graduate of Belmont, is most likely playing in his final State Amateur as he has intentions of turning professional in August. A fourth-place finisher in this event in 2019, Davis started his round on the 10th tee and had some early ebbs and flows which resulted in an outward nine of 36 (E). After three more pars to start the second nine, Davis found a new gear to close the day with three consecutive birdies on holes 4-6 before finishing the day with an eagle on the par-five 9th. The big finish gave him a score of 30 (-5) on Indian Hills’ front nine, the best aggregate score on either nine from any player in the field.
“Pretty solid finish,” Davis said after his round with a laugh. “I hit a good drive on the 4th and followed it up with a great wedge which got the ball rolling for me down the stretch. That was a big stretch because I can tell you’re going to need to go low this week, and while the course is gettable at times, you need to stay patient and don’t want to force it because you can short-side yourself around a lot of these greens. It’s kind of cliché, but whoever keeps the ball in play and gets the ball on the green is going to succeed this week. These greens are so good that if you hit a good putt, it’s going to go in.”
Playing three groups in front of Davis was Preston, who redshirted this past college season at Vanderbilt as a sophomore. Preston made the most birdies of any player in the field on Tuesday with eight, which included three in his final five holes. He opened with 34 (-2) on his first nine, Indian Hills’ back nine, but like Davis, he did most of his damage on the final several holes.
“I really trusted myself all day,” Preston summarized. “I hit each green in regulation during my practice round so I knew I was hitting the ball well coming into this round. I just needed to give myself putts and I gave myself a lot of good looks today. There isn’t too much trouble on this golf course, so the key these next two days is going to be minimizing errors. Hitting the ball in the right spots and allowing yourself the opportunity to hit birdie putts means you won’t make any worse than par here.”
A trio of players sit one stroke behind the co-leaders after rounds of 67 (-4). Lyman Brackett, Jackson Finney and Campbell Kremer are those closest to Davis and Preston. Brackett competed in last year’s U.S. Junior Amateur while Finney is preparing to begin his college golf career this fall for the Cincinnati Bearcats. Kremer on the other hand will be entering his junior year with the Kentucky Wildcats after this summer.
In total, 23 players recorded under-par rounds to open the championship while 36 are even-par or better. With such a compact leaderboard and the proof low scores can be obtained, there is no shortage of players who will tee off on Wednesday with the belief the oldest trophy in Kentucky golf is within their reach.
NOTES & STATS
- A cut to the top 70 and ties will be made after round two. After Tuesday’s play, +3 is the score that sets the early cutline.
- Eight eagles were made in the opening round. The par-five 10th had the most with four, the par-four 17th had two, while the par-five 9th and par-five 13th each had one apiece.
- The 10th played as the easiest hole of the day thanks in part to those eagles. Along with most eagles, it had the most birdies with 61 made on it. Its stroke-to-par average was -0.26.
- In a rare occurrence, a par-five was the hardest hole of the round. The 2nd hole gave numerous players fits with seventeen double bogeys or worse recorded on it. +0.57 was the average mark.
- Both nines played similarly in terms of difficulty, with the front nine averaging +1.81 compared to +1.94 on the back nine. The course average for the day was 74.75 (+3.75).
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Golf House Kentucky will continue to have full coverage of this year’s championship on its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. When the final group reaches the 18th hole of Thursday's final round, a live-stream will be available to view on Facebook. Should a playoff be necessary, that will also be live-streamed.
About the Kentucky Golf Association:
The Kentucky Golf Association (KGA) is one of the three organizations encompassed under Golf House Kentucky, in addition to the Kentucky Golf Foundation (KGF) and Kentucky PGA Section (KPGA). The Kentucky Golf Association represents the amateur body of Kentucky’s golfers working in assistance with the United States Golf Association (USGA). The KGA provides a wide range of services, including handicapping, USGA course and slope ratings, and tournament management software to its Member Clubs. The KGA also operates the state’s premier amateur tournaments along with USGA National Championship qualifiers. Alongside the KGF and KPGA, the KGA strives to promote the benefits and enjoyment of golf while continuing to grow the sport across the Commonwealth.
Ethan Fisher, PGA | Golf House Kentucky | firstname.lastname@example.org | (502) 792-9703