Defending Champion J.B. Williams Leads After Round One at Triple Crown
UNION, KY (July 28, 2020) – A beautiful day in northern Kentucky greeted the competitors of the 101st Kentucky Open on Tuesday with Triple Crown Country Club demonstrating championship prowess right away. Good shots were rewarded while poor shots were penalized, and the player who executed the best in round one was the defending champion, J.B. Williams.
Williams’ name shot to the top of the leaderboard in the afternoon by virtue of making eight birdies in his last eleven holes. That led to an inward nine of 30 (-6) which moved him into first place, one stroke up on Shawn Tipton and two shots ahead of Andy Roberts, Brendon Doyle, Dustin Hicks, and Patrick Newcomb.
“After the seventh hole, I started swinging a bit more freely and I was taking dead aim at a lot of flags,” Williams said. “Ball-striking is without a doubt going to be what separates the field this week. Swinging with your State Open on the line and the pressure that comes with it is ultimately what it will come down to for whoever is contending during the final round.”
After his win last year at Kearney Hill and before the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the spring, Williams was knocking on the door of membership in PGA Tour-affiliated competition north of the border. In a world without COVID-19, Williams might not have been in this year’s field.
“Being able to defend my title this week is a bit of a silver-lining for me as these last few months have been wild. I was one of the last qualifiers for the Mackenzie Tour in early March which got me status in Canada, but then everything obviously changed a week and a half later. I probably wouldn’t be playing this week if the pandemic never happened. I’ve played some events on the Swing Thought Tour the last few months and other small-scale events, but it’s great to be in this tournament once again and to be playing well.”
NOTES AND STATS
- Rob Crockett II needed only one shot to play the par-three 16th, recording a hole-in-one with a nine iron. The shot helped Crockett shoot 76 (+4), which sits T67.
- Including Crockett’s on the 16th, nine eagles were made across Triple Crown in round one. Two on the par-five 5th, one on the par-five 7th, two on the par-five 10th, and three on the par-five 17th.
- The par-three 6th was the most difficult hole on the golf course for the first round. Playing at a stroke-to-par average of +0.56, only three birdies were made while thirteen double bogeys or worse were recorded.
- The 17th was Tuesday’s easiest hole with the three eagles helping it play -0.31. Fifty-two birdies were also made on the penultimate hole today.
Golf House Kentucky will continue to have full coverage of the championship on its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. Following the conclusion of the second round, a cut will be made to the top seventy scores and ties. Please note spectators are restricted from being on the grounds of the golf course and caddies remain prohibited.