Meet the Competitors of the 103rd Kentucky Open
This year, the Kentucky Open has one of the strongest fieds it has ever had in the century-plus existence of the championship. It contains 60 professionals and 96 amateurs looking to make history in the state's most prestigious golf tournament. This week at Persimmon Ridge Golf Club, one of the below players will stand victorious as the champion of the 103rd Kentucky Open and pass the test of determining who the best male golfer in Kentucky is.
Field list as of Thursday, July 21
Kash Albarado - The Prospect local qualified in Prospect at the Nevel Meade qualifier with a round of 73 (+1). Albarado graduated from St. Xavier earlier in the year and will begin playing college golf with the Bellarmine Knights this season.
Kyle Alexander - Originally from Taylorsville, he is now a member of the men’s golf team at Thomas More. Last year in the State Open, he made the cut despite a struggle-filled opening round of 83 (+11). With a bounce-back 68 (-4), he was able to make it into the third round and had the biggest comeback of all players who played all three rounds last year.
Tyler Allred - Allred will be heading into his junior season at Transylvania. The 2020 North Oldham High School graduate qualified at Nevel Meade with 70 (-2).
Clay Amlung - Amlung nearly authored up one of the most storybook finishes in the event’s history last year. The Persimmon Ridge member got into the 2021 championship less than 24 hours before the event started and was one shot away from forcing a playoff with eventual champion J.B. Williams. Amlung settled for a runner-up finish, but could be poised to do one spot better in 2022.
Griffin Barke - An under-par total at the Nevel Meade qualifier with 71 (-1) put Barke into the field. A highly talented junior golfer from Crestwood, Barke is among the youngest players in the field at age 16.
Billy Basham - A candidate for possessing the best name of any player in the field, Basham has been around golf his entire life and found quite a bit of success. Among it was a terrific college career with the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. Basham recently turned professional and will be playing in this championship for the first time as a pro this year. He is the son of Greg Basham, the PGA Head Golf Professional at Iroquois Golf Course.
Cameron Bassel - Bassell finished T25 in the Nevel Meade qualifier with a score of 73 (+1) that got him in the field. A graduate from Lexington Christian in 2021, he will be heading into his sophomore season with Centre College this fall.
Bryce Beard - A Louisvillian and 2020 Saint Xavier Graduate, Beard will be a junior at Presbyterian College this fall. This will be his second straight appearance in the state Open.
Wesley Beard - After shooting 72 (E) in the qualifier at Country Club of Owensboro, Beard made it through on the number to qualify for this championship. Beard will embark on his senior year at St. Xavier this fall. He is the brother of Bryce.
Jack Bedell - Recognized as the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour’s Jace Bugg Award recipient in 2021, Bedell joined an esteemed group of players to win that award recognizing a player who displays outstanding sportsmanship. He was the first alternate from the qualifier at Country Club of Owensboro, but has gotten his name called up to the championship since then.
Justin Begley - An impressive young talent out of Manchester, Begley begins his college golf career this fall with the Eastern Kentucky Colonels. He got some nice exposure on Twitter from Monday Q Info when his friend and fellow Manchesterian Chip McDaniel was on the bag for him at the Barbasol’s Open Qualifier.
Joe Benton - A rising junior at Eastern Kentucky University. He is originally from Irvine and graduated high school at Estill County where he won ten different high school tournaments. Last month at the State Am, he fell on the wrong side of the cutline by a stroke to narrowly miss out on the final round.
Jack Bergstrom - A native of Lexington who now played college golf for the Belmont Bruins after graduating high school from Sayre. He had a top-twenty finish in the 2020 Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur at Lexington Country Club.
Blake Berry - Berry was the first alternate from the qualifier at Heritage Hill, but has had his name called into the championship field in the time since. Companies like Driscoll’s and True Blue have a great sponsorship opportunity waiting for them given his last name.
Micah Bertram - A Persimmon Ridge junior member, Bertram shot 78 (+6) to get through the club’s member qualifier. He was one of five golfers selected to receive the Gay Brewer, Jr. Grant in 2021.
Davis Billows - Billows made it through the Gibson Bay qualifier with 74 (+2). It was a tale of two nines that day, going out in 33 (-3) while coming in with 41 (+5). He is from Lockport which has one of the smallest Wikipedia pages for a town you will ever find.
Seth Bohl - Originally from Barbourville and now a member of the Campbellsville University men’s golf team. In his senior season this past year, he had an average score of 76.32 while being lauded for his work in the classroom. He was an NCCAA scholar athlete and Academic All-MSC. Last month at the State Am, he finished T34.
Lyman Brackett - Eighteen years old and a Louisville native, Brackett was one of a half-dozen Kentuckians to compete in the 2021 U.S. Junior Amateur. His name was near the top of the leaderboard after round one of last month’s State Am when he resided in the top-five, but was unfortunately disqualified after the second round when he signed for a wrong scorecard.
Patrick Brooks - A rising junior at Belmont and 2020 graduate of Saint Xavier high school. Brooks finished in 68th place at the 2021 State Open and was runner-up from the Nevel Meade qualifier with a round of 69 (-3).
Steven Brooks - Brooks was one of four players to break 70 in the qualifier at Gibson Bay Golf Course. He shot 69 (-3) that day. He is from Wilmore and a graduate of West Jessamine High School and Asbury University.
Eric Brown - The Persimmon Ridge member qualified at the club’s event to finalize the last several spots in the championship. He shot 74 (+2) and had the best score on the back nine from each player in that field with 35 (-1).
Jared Brown - Brown finished in the top-five of the Gibson Bay qualifier when he shot 70 (-2). He is originally from Bowling Green and an alumnus of South Warren High School and Eastern Kentucky University.
Cade Burdette - A top-ten finisher from the Gibson Bay qualifier, the Mount Vernon product shot 71 (-1) at that event. He graduated from Rockcastle County High School in 2019 and is entering his senior year with the Eastern Kentucky Colonels this fall.
J.M. Butler - One of the odds-on favorites to win this week, the Louisville native has become one of the best college golfers in the country with the Auburn Tigers. He won last year’s Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur at Audubon Country Club and broke the championship scoring record in the process. He finished in the top-five of this championship in 2020 at Triple Crown Country Club.
Tom Campbell - A past champion of the State Amateur having won in 2014 at Cherry Blossom Golf & Country Club. He claimed another big victory earlier this year at Griffin Gate Golf Club when he came out on top of the Kentucky Senior Match Play Championship.
G.R. Chandler - A member of Madisonville Country Club, Chandler represented Team KGA in last year’s Coomer Cup. He made the cut in the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur last month and finished T65 at Indian Hills.
Nathan Chapman - The Louisville native qualified at Heritage Hill shooting 75 (+3). He plays college golf at Spalding University and is a graduate of Evangel High School.
Jacob Cook - Cook played collegiately for Kentucky and was a key player for the Wildcats the last several years. In the state’s premier individual competitions, he’s been a force to be reckoned with which includes a runner-up finish in this championship two years ago at Triple Crown Country Club, where he was also low-amateur. He was co-medalist in the state’s U.S. Open Local Qualifier back in May at Kearney Hill Golf Links.
Connor Coombs - Coombs was the runner-up in the qualifier at Country Club of Paducah. He had a successful week in last month’s State Amateur, finishing T18 at Indian Hills. He is a product of Central City.
Chris Cornetet, PGA - The Head Golf Professional at Connemara Golf Course, a role he’s had for about five years. Before heading to Connemara, Cornetet was an Assistant Professional at Idle Hour Country Club. He is a graduate of Eastern Kentucky’s PGA Golf Management program.
C.J. Corum - This will be Corum’s third straight year competing in the Kentucky Open. He’s hoping to make the cut for the first time in 2022 after narrowly missing in 2020 at Triple Crown and last year at Persimmon Ridge. He shot 73 (+1) in the Gibson Bay qualifier to earn his spot once more.
Robert Costello, PGA - A talented golfer within the Section who serves as Nevel Meade Golf Club’s Head Professional. Costello completed PGA Golf Management at Eastern Kentucky University before becoming one of the most recognizable PGA Members in the Louisville area.
Steve Cox, PGA - Cox is the Head Golf Professional of Laure County Country Club. He won the 2019 Kentucky Senior Open at Houston Oaks Golf Course in a playoff. That helped him win the ROLEX Senior Player of the Year award in Kentucky for the second time that year, having also won that honor in 2013.
Evan Cox - The Ashland product is a usual suspect at the top of State Open leaderboards. He finished T28 in 2021, T15 in 2020 at Triple Crown Country Club, and T6 at Kearney Hill Golf Links in 2019. He played college golf for the Kentucky Wildcats and turned professional after graduating in 2018.
Dustin Denzik - Denzik finished in the top-five of this championship last year and was three shots shy of tying eventual champion J.B. Williams. Now a professional golfer, Denzik was formerly a professional poker player where he made north of $60,000.
Chad Douglas, PGA - An Assistant Professional at The Club at Olde Stone in Bowling Green. Douglas and his team have been hard at work this week making sure the U.S. Girls Junior has been a success, but he will get to take to the golf course himself with his clubs in tow this coming week.
Brendon Doyle - A Louisville native who played college golf with the Indiana Hoosiers, Doyle recorded six top-ten finishes in 2020 on either PGA TOUR Latino America or the LocaliQ Series. He was the leader entering the final round of this championship last year and had a chance at victory coming up the 54th and final hole, but ultimately finished in solo third, two strokes back of J.B. Williams.
Drew Doyle - The brother of Brendon and a graduate of St. Xavier in 2020 is now a member of the Men’s Golf team with the LSU Tigers. His junior golf career was prolific, which included the 2016 Kentucky Junior Amateur title, being named Mr. Golf in 2017, and a top-ten finish in the 2018 Boys Junior PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club. He finished T42 in this championship last year.
Cooper Eberle - Last week, Eberle was on the bag for his sister Elizabeth while she competed at the U.S. Girls Junior from The Club at Olde Stone. This week, it’s Cooper’s turn to be the one playing and earned that right by shooting 73 (+1) in the qualifier at Gibson Bay. His father Jason is the PGA Head Golf Professional at that very facility.
Erik Edwards - Edwards was a co-medalist at the U.S. Open Local Qualifier in May at Kearney Hill Golf Links. A round of 66 (-6) led to that distinction. He graduated from Male High School in 2016 and now plays college golf with the University of Indianapolis.
Aaron Eldridge - An Assistant Golf Professional at Traditions Golf Club in Hebron. Eldridge recently began the pathway as a PGA Associate after an amateur career that was filled on the working side by being an Assistant Manager for The Golf Exchange. He’s posted several solid finishes already this season in KPGA events and could be formidable this week.
Matt Epperson - One of the top mid-ams in the state, proven by the fact he won the 2019 Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Mid-Am at the University Club of Kentucky. More recently, he finished inside the top-ten at last month’s State Am and was just five shots shy of the eventual four-person playoff that took place.
Brad Faulkner - The Louisville resident shot 74 (+2) in the Nevel Meade qualifier to wrap up a spot for this week. Despite a tough start to that round and being +4 thru 6, Faulkner was able to rally with two late birdies to sneak inside the cutline.
Landon Finn - Finn will make his second straight appearance in the State Open after qualifying at Gibson Bay with a score of 75 (+3).. He is originally from Florence and plays college golf with the Thomas More Saints.
Andrew Flynn - The Wright State golfer and Louisville native will be playing in the Kentucky Open for the third consecutive year. In 2019, he won the Lou Perry Tour Championship on the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour.
Luke Fuller - A senior-to-be with the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky, Fuller could be a sneaky dark horse pick this week. He finished T28 in this championship last year, and that was even with a tough second round of 78 (+6). He also earned a top-ten finish in the State Am last month with a T9 finish.
Ben Fuqua - A former UK golfer who now serves as the Assistant Coach for the Wildcats. He finished T8 in the 2020 State Open from Triple Crown Country Club, a performance highlighted by a final round of 67 (-5) which was the second-best score of that day. Last year at Persimmon Ridge, he finished T28.
Adam Gary, PGA - Gary is the Women’s Golf Coach for Western Kentucky University. The Bowling Green resident played collegiately himself at Florida Gulf Coast University and played on mini tours for several years before entering the coaching field of the golf industry.
Josh Gregorich, PGA - Gregorich is an Assistant Golf Professional at Lexington Country Club. He is a 2018 graduate of Eastern Kentucky’s PGA Golf Management program. To qualify for this championship, he shot 75 (+3) at Gibson Bay.
Sam Guest - A home-club member at Persimmon Ridge who will be taking on the Open here for the second straight year. By shooting 71 (-1) in the qualifier at Country Club of Owensboro, he was able to claim a spot in his backyard once more.
Will Guest - Shooting 72 (E) in the qualifier at Nevel Meade put Guest into the field. He was slated to play last year in this championship, but had to withdraw prior to the first round. He is the brother of Sam.
Ben Haggin - Haggin will be a sophomore at the University of Virginia this fall. He is originally from Lexington and had a decorated junior golf career that included winning the 2019 Kentucky Boys Junior PGA Championship. He finished T42 in this championship last year and was T47 in the State Amateur last month in Bowling Green.
Alex Hadden - From Eminence, Hadden is a member of the men’s golf team at Henderson State. He finished T34 in last month’s State Am in Bowling Green and did so by overcoming a difficult opening round of 77 (+6).
Joe Hamilton - This will be the young Sparta native’s second straight year playing in the State Open. He went 81-78 to miss the cut but will certainly use that experience to his benefit this year as he looks to improve on that mark. He qualified at Gibson Bay Golf Course with 75 (+3).
Christopher Harpum - With a round of 72 (E) in the Gibson Bay qualifier, the Union resident earned his spot in the field. He graduated from Ryle earlier this year and will begin his college career with the Cincinnati Bearcats in August.
Ballard Harris - A Louisville native and former Trinity High School golfer who will enter his third season playing golf at Bellarmine this fall. He qualified at Nevel Meade with a round of 73 (+1).
Matt Harris - A good round of 68 (-4) in the Gibson Bay qualifier led to a third-place finish in that event for the Lexington native along with a berth in this championship. He primarily focused on baseball during much of his life, but shifted his focus to golf after graduating from Eastern Kentucky and has found success. So much in fact that it led to a place in the Barbasol Championship earlier this month.
Parker Haynes - An alumnus of the University of Findlay, Haynes recently turned professional and will be making his first Kentucky Open start as a pro. The Elizabethtown native made it through the qualifier at Heritage Hill with 73 (+1).
Dustin Hicks - The runner-up of the qualifier at Heritage Hill, Hicks posted an impressive bogey-free round of 65 (-7) to submit his place in the championship. He’s from Elizabethtown and competed collegiately with Kentucky Wesleyan.
Nathan Hincks - Hincks has been deadly in KPGA Pro-Pros this year when he teams up with his boss at The Club at Olde Stone, Kevin Childers, PGA. The two of them won at Woodhaven Country Club in the Pro-Pro Shamble presented by Levelwear and supported by Hole-in-One U.S.A. and HMG Accessory Solutions. One month later, they won at Audubon Country Club in the Callaway Pro-Assistant. To qualify for this championship, he finished T3 in the Heritage Hill qualifier on July 12.
Adam Houchens - A Scottsville native, Houchens is a member at Bowling Green Country Club. He narrowly missed the cut in last month’s State Amateur at Indian Hills and will be hoping for slightly better luck with this championship.
David Huffman, PGA - The Head Golf Professional at South Park Country Club is nothing but consistent. Huffman consistently puts up rounds at or near par in KPGA Section events. He is currently serving as the District 2 Director of the Section.
Jon Ice - Ice was the last person to get a guaranteed spot at the Heritage Hill qualifier as he survived a four-for-one playoff to punch his ticket. Following that event, he had the top round of the day at KGA Am Series #4 from Oldham County Country Club when he shot 69 (-2).
Daniel Iceman III, PGA - An Assistant Golf Professional at Weissinger Hills Golf Course who has been one of the KPGA’s best players for several years now, highlighted by winning the last two editions of the Kentucky PGA Assistant Match Play Championship. He was the runner-up of the 2016 Kentucky Open at Hurstbourne Country Club.
C.J. Jones - Jones is a newly turned professional after a successful junior and amateur career which contained a victory in the 2015 KHSAA State Championship and a successful stint at Ball State. He finished T22 in the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur last month, his farewell to the amateur side of things.
Grover Justice, PGA - Justice is the Director of Instruction at Bluegrass Golf Academy in Lexington and a past ROLEX Larry Gilbert Player of the Year within the Section. He was the runner-up in the 2007 Kentucky Open and captured the 2020 Kentucky PGA Professional Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.
Kevin Keehan - Keehan was among the last players to qualify out of Nevel Meade as his 74 (+2) was the cutline determining who got a guaranteed spot and who became an alternate. Keehan is a former Golf Professional who spent time working in the Mid-Atlantic PGA Section before becoming an Account Manager with ProLink Staffing.
Robbie Keyes - The medalist from the Nevel Meade qualifier, Keyes blitzed the field with a score of 64 (-8) which secured him of that honor by a whopping five shots. He made seven birdies and an eagle during that performance with an inward nine of 31 (-5).
Owen King - In what has become a tradition any time these breakdowns are distributed when Owen or his brother Caleb are in the field, it must be said that the press release will be titled “King of the (insert golf course here)” should he go on to win this Thursday. That is no different this week. He qualified at Nevel Meade when he shot 71 (-1).
Jay Kirchdorfer - A recent graduate from the University of Kentucky who will be heading to Rice University in Houston this fall as a grad student. He was one of the runner-ups at the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur last month and part of the historic four-person playoff to decide that title. His father, Jimmy, was inducted into the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame in 2021 and is one of the new owners of Valhalla Golf Club.
Ethan Kleier - Kleier was the second alternate from the Heritage Hill qualifier but has gotten into the field after some withdrawals. He is a junior member of Woodhaven Country Club and will be heading into his junior year at DeSales this fall. He is a member of the school’s boy’s golf team.
Brooks Korfhage - Korfhage qualified at The Country Club of Owensboro on June 25 with a T3 finish after firing 69 (-3). He plays college golf for the Bellarmine Knights.
Campbell Kremer - The St. Xavier grad and current Kentucky Wildcat is a popular pick to win this week. Kremer has had a solid summer which has included qualifying for the U.S. Amateur and coming within two shots of winning the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur. He held the lead during a portion of the final round’s back nine at Indian Hills when pursuing the State Am trophy. He is the great-grandson of Dwight Gahm, the founder of Valhalla Golf Club.
Matthew Kruza - The Persimmon Ridge member is in the field of this championship for the second straight year. In 2021, he got through the member qualifier, but this time around he played the Nevel Meadw qualifier where he shot 74 (+2) to gain a spot once more.
Jackson Lalonde - A graduate of Lexington Christian Academy, Lalonde now plays collegiately for the Kentucky Wildcats - something his father Mark did as well. He shot 69 (-3) in the Owensboro qualifier to secure his place in this championship.
Ralph Landrum, PGA - The General Manager of World of Golf in Florence. In his days as a playing professional, he competed in eleven total major championships which are highlighted by a top-ten finish in the 1983 U.S. Open. Landrum won the Kentucky Open in 1987 when it was played at Frankfort Country Club.
Andrew Lardner, PGA - The Head Professional at Persimmon Ridge’s sister course, Polo Fields Golf & Country Club. Lardner is a popular Member both within the Kentucky Section and among his membership at Polo Fields. Before coming to Polo Fields, Lardner spent nearly a decade working at Seneca Golf Course.
Mason Lenhart - Lenhart had a solid appearance in this championship last year with a T23 finish. That finish was made more impressive by the fact he carded three double-bogeys and still placed in the top-25. He plays college golf for the Cincinnati Bearcats and graduated from North Oldham High School in 2018.
Trey Lewis - Originally from Beaver Dam and now a member of the Murray State Racers’ squad. He is a graduate of Ohio County High School. Lewis posted a T28 finish in the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur last month with rounds of 72-73-71.
Logan Liles - A recent graduate from Lewis County High School, Liles is bound to begin his college career with Morehead State next month. He finished T21 at the 2021 Barbasol Junior Championship and posted T42 in this championship a year ago.
Florian Loutre - The Frenchman was the co-medalist at the Gibson Bay qualifier with a round of 67 (-5). The professional’s game remains in strong form despite the fact golf hasn’t been his greatest focus in the past year, as he and his wife welcomed their first baby to the world late in 2021.
Matt Love, PGA - A man who is quite literally filled with Love, Matt qualified for the championship at Gibson Bay with a round of 75 (+3). That earned him one of the last guaranteed spots available at that event. He is the new Head Golf Professional at Hunting Creek Country Club, a role he accepted last winter.
Andrew Marrs - The rising Morehead State junior finished one shot shy of making the cut in this championship last year. He is the older brother of Mary Keene Marrs who was the runner-up in the Women’s State Open earlier this month at Bellefonte Country Club.
Chris Martin - The first alternate from the qualifier at Country Club of Paducah has been called into the field. Martin is from Burna, a small town not terribly far from Paducah which had its name picked via a contest. The winning card drawn was from a young girl named Burna, so it was named in her honor.
Jeremy Martin - An Assistant Golf Professional at Griffin Gate Golf Club, Martin is a PGA Associate nearing Membership within the PGA. Martin has turned heads with some strong play this year, which included finishing as the low pro in the Pro-Am Championship supported by Sun Mountain at Big Spring Country Club.
Ryan Martin - With a solid round of 70 (-2) from the Nevel Meade qualifier, Martin was through by virtue of that performance. Hailing from Prestonsburg, Martin serves as the Head Golf Professional at Stonecrest Golf Course, widely regarded as one of the best hidden secrets in Kentucky golf.
Jesse Massie, PGA - The Director of Instruction at Woodhaven Country Club, Massie is a three-time past recipient of the ROLEX Assistant Player of the Year award. He has found the winner’s circle a couple times this season as he was part of the winning teams in the Pro-Lady supported by Corkcicle and Mobile Pro Shop plus the Pro-Pro Challenge presented by Evolve Golf.
J.R. Maxam - The Winchester native is looking to rebound in this championship after missing the cut in 2021. He also came on the wrong side of the cutline in last month’s State Amateur, missing out on the final round by a single stroke. A good round of 70 (-2) from Gibson Bay’s qualifier confirmed his spot in this year’s State Open.
Brad Maynard, PGA - Maynard was elected to PGA Membership in 2020 after beginning the Associate program several years previously. He was exempt for this championship thanks to finishing inside the top 25 on the KPGA Member points list in 2021.
Joey Mayo - Most likely a big fan of mayonnaise, Mayo was the medalist of the qualifier at Country Club of Paducah with 72 (E). He is a graduate of Rhodes College and St. Mary’s High School. He was part of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity during his college days.
Shaun McConnell - A top-ten finisher from the Nevel Meade qualifier thanks to shooting 70 (-2) for a T9 finish. He and Brandon Berry were the winners of the inaugural Kentucky Team Championship in 2008 which they won at Bardstown Country Club.
Michael McDade - The medalist of the qualifier from Heritage Hill, McDade had what some would say is a decent round of 64 (-8). Perhaps the most impressive thing about that round was that it contained a double bogey on the par-four 14th, yet he still posted a score that low. He does know that golf course well as he is the Director of Operations at Heritage Hill.
Aaron McDowell, PGA - McDowell serves as the Head Golf Professional at Lakeside Golf Course in Lexington. He posted a solid T34 finish in this championship last year, the third-best result from a KPGA Member that week.
Chan Metts - The Head Coach of the Men’s Golf team at Western Kentucky University. He has served as the Hilltoppers’ leader since August 2018. Metts finished T55 in last month’s State Amateur at his home course of Indian Hills.
Ryan Mitts - A senior at Northern Kentucky University, Mitts qualified at Nevel Meade with a round of 74 (+2). He graduated from Grant County High School and is originally from Williamstown.
Tyler Mitts - By shooting 71 (-1) in the Nevel Meade qualifier, Mitts has found his way into the field. His scorecard in that round was rather colorful, as Mitts had one eagle, five birdies and six bogeys throughout the day.
C.M. Mixon - A Bowling Green native who now plays collegiately for the Louisville Cardinals. Mixon is well-respected as one of the top talents in Kentucky golf, as he was runner-up in the 2018 KHSAA State Championship and finished in third place in the 2017 edition of that event. Last year in the Kentucky Open, he finished T23 and got a T18 finish at the State Amateur in June. He was the medalist at Country Club of Owensboro’s qualifier with 65 (-7).
Isaac Moody - A talented junior from La Grange, Moody has recorded top-ten finishes in each of the last two editions of the Kentucky Boys Junior Amateur - including a T8 at University of Louisville Golf Club two weeks ago. He also has a top-five finish on the AJGA to his name which occurred last summer.
Davis Money - The first alternate from the Nevel Meade qualifier shot 75 (+3) and has been bumped into the championship field. Should he win, this song will be played very loudly during the awards ceremony.
Mitchell Moore, PGA - The Director of Instruction at Hopkinsville Golf & Country Club. Moore has risen to the ranks of being one of the Section’s most successful and influential teachers. He is a talented golfer in his own right, finishing as the runner-up in last year’s ROLEX Larry Gilbert Player of the Year points standings.
Chandler Morgan - Morgan made the cut in this championship last year and finished T69. He is a graduate of Akron and grew up in Lexington, graduating from Tates Creek High School in 2013.
Frankie Morgan - A rising senior at Bellarmine, Morgan made his Kentucky Open debut in 2021 and did well with a T42 finish. He’s back for another go-around this year thanks to finishing T24 in the qualifier at Gibson Bay Golf Course which got him in.
Luke Muller - The champion of the 2021 Kentucky Boys Junior Amateur, Muller pulled off one of the biggest upsets the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour has seen in its majors in recent years that week. That victory was Muller’s very first individual tournament victory in his golfing career, and he did it against a star-studded field of the state’s best young males. This fall, he starts his sophomore year with the Northern Kentucky Norse.
Toby Mullins - Mullins is based out of Lexington and teaches out of Tee It Up Golf Range. He is an authorized instructor of The Golfing Machine. Mullins graduated from Wichita State in Kansas 21 years ago with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration.
Joe Muschong - Perhaps best known for being the caddie to James Hahn when he contended deep into the 2021 Barbasol Championship, Muschong is a solid player in his own right. Last week, he won the Lexington City Championship. He is a recent graduate of Morehead State, with whom he played college golf.
Patrick Newcomb - Newcomb was in the final group at the final round of the 2020 Kentucky Open where he ultimately finished in sixth-place. Last year, he finished at the same spot on the leaderboard at Persimmon Ridge following rounds of 68-71-68. He’s a two-time past champion of the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur and won an APGA Tour event at Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California earlier this season.
Garrett Nielsen - Nielsen was a runner-up from the qualifier at Nevel Meade with a nice score of 69 (-3). Originally from Illinois, Nielsen now spends a great deal of his time at Persimmon Ridge as part of The Golf Academy’s team of coaches. He played college golf with Spalding.
Jay Nimmo - A decorated junior golfer from Benton who started his college career last fall with Mississippi State. Nimmo has since announced that he is transferring to Murray State and will be back in the Commonwealth on a full-time basis. He finished T22 at Indian Hills Country Club during last month’s Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur.
Cooper Parks - The Kentucky Wildcat and alumnus of Taylor County High School has recorded three consecutive top-20 finishes in the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur, including a T14 mark last month at Indian Hills Country Club.
Tanner Parks - A University of Kentucky golfer and the twin brother of Cooper. He finished T58 in this championship last year and is coming off a T41 result in the State Amateur.
Jackson Parnell - Parnell finished T17 at the Gibson Bay qualifier after shooting 73 (+1) to gain a spot in this championship. He is originally from Maineville, Ohio and plays college golf with the Bellarmine Knights.
Miles Parroco - A recent transfer to Northern Kentucky after spending his first two years playing college golf for Longwood University. He is a former intern of Golf House Kentucky having served as both a media and operations intern each of the previous two summers. Last month in the State Am at Indian Hills, he finished T34.
Clay Pendergrass - A rising young talent out of Richmond, Pendergrass has posted top-five finishes in each of the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour’s first two majors so far this season. He has committed to play college golf with the Louisville Cardinals after he graduates high school next spring.
Scott Porter - The Kentucky Senior Open champion from 2021 as Porter came out on top at Heritage Hill Golf Club with a three-stroke victory. He then proceeded to make the cut in the State Open last year where he ultimately finished T49 here at Persimmon Ridge.
Jansen Preston - It’s been a high-quality summer of golf for Preston with some very close calls for the Lexington native who now plays collegiately at Vanderbilt. He had the lead in the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur heading to the 17th hole in the final round but ended up one shot short of a playoff. He then got in a playoff for the final qualifying spot at the Barbasol Championship Monday Qualifier on Independence Day, but was defeated by a chip-in birdie on the 3rd hole of sudden-death. Preston figures to be a contender once again this week if his prior form is any indication.
Dominic Ramsey - A Louisville native entering his senior year with the Campbellsville Tigers. Last season, he was named to the Mid-South’s All-Second team by virtue of his play. He qualified at Heritage Hill with a T6 finish.
Chris Schuler, PGA - The Co-Head Professional at Louisville Country Club. Schuler has previously worked at Oxmoor Country Club and Nevel Meade Golf Club after being elected to PGA Membership in 2015.
Kyle Scott - Scott finished T58 in this championship a year ago and was even-par for the tournament entering the final round. With a round of 71 (-1) from the Owensboro qualifier, he is back in the field looking to improve on his 2021 result.
Jacob Settles - Settles has turned himself into one of the top junior talents in the state over the course of the last year. In 2021, he earned his first AJGA win as well as his first major championship on the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour. He recently earned a top-ten finish in the Kentucky Boys Junior Amateur earlier this month at University of Louisville Golf Club.
Gehrig Sexton - The younger of the following two Sexton brothers, Gehrig by his older brother by a stroke in the Gibson Bay qualifier with a 72 (E). That led to a T11 finish and a punched ticket for this championship. He graduated high school in May and will start college at EKU next month.
Reese Sexton - A Monticello native and Wayne County High School graduate who will start his redshirt sophomore season at Eastern Kentucky University this fall. He won the Kentucky Middle School Championship in 2015 at Quail Chase Golf Club before graduating from Wayne County High School. He placed T51 last month in the State Amateur.
Steve Shafer, PGA - Shafer is double-dipping this week as both an employee and competitor. The Director of Golf at Persimmon Ridge is teeing it up and with a made cut, would earn himself an extra round of golf while also being able to skip several hours of work.
Brian Smith - Smith is among the Persimmon Ridge members in action this week. He shot 79 (+7) in the facility’s member qualifier which was the first alternate position, but a withdrawal has gotten him in the field with lots of local support sure to come his way.
Parker Smith - The Louisville native and Ballard High School graduate is set to compete in the Kentucky Open for the second time in his career. His debut last year ended with a missed cut, but will look to improve this time after qualifying at Gibson Bay with 74 (+2).
Paxton Song - One of the few senior golfers in this year’s field, Song’s name is usually found at the top of the state’s biggest senior events. Included in that is a T5 from last year’s Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Senior Amateur at University of Louisville Golf Club.
Andrew Stephens, PGA - The Kentucky PGA’s two-time reigning ROLEX Larry Gilbert Player of the Year. A big part of the reason why he won that award in 2021 stemmed from his victory in the Kentucky PGA Professional Championship which came at Bowling Green Country Club. That was his second time winning that tournament, following his 2018 triumph at Kearney Hill Golf Links.
Drake Stepter - Stepter is the reigning champion of the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Mid-Am having won that title last August at Bellefonte Country Club. He finished T20 in this championship a year ago. More recently, he finished T51 at Indian Hills during the State Amateur in June.
Carson Stone, PGA - A Director of Instruction at Bluegrass Golf Academy in Lexington. Stone graduated from Eastern Kentucky’s PGA Golf Management program and worked in both the Southern Ohio and Tennessee Sections after graduating. He has been with Bluegrass Golf Academy since the spring of 2021.
Andrew Strother - This will be Strother’s second straight week competing in a State Open after playing in Denver last week for the Colorado Open. Strother played well in the Mile High City and aims to keep that momentum going this week. He recently turned professional and has competed in many different mini tour events nationwide throughout 2022.
Tommy Sullinger - Originally from Sylvania, Ohio, Sullinger played college golf for the Cincinnati Bearcats. He qualified at Heritage Hill when he shot 72 (E).
Andrew Sullivan - A qualifier from Nevel Meade as Sullivan’s 71 (-1) put him through to this week’s championship. A graduate of St. Xavier, he now plays college golf for Samford University.
Tadd Switzer - A good dark horse pick this week, the Hopkinsville product finished T20 in this championship last year. He had an under-par total score after the first couple rounds but a closing 75 (+3) moved him back the leaderboard a tad (no pun intended). He competed on the victorious Team KGA squad in last year’s Coomer Cup.
Jack Talbott - One of the youngest players in the field at age 16. He is set to graduate in 2024 from Trinity High School. He made his debut in the State Amateur last month and now gets the chance to make his State Open debut. He successfully qualified at Nevel Meade with 74 (+2).
Nicholas Tenuta - A runner-up from the qualifier at Nevel Meade, Tenuta shot 69 (-3) to easily get a place in the field this week. Originally from Illinois, Tenuta came south to play college golf with the Louisville Cardinals and is set to begin his redshirt senior year with the red birds this fall.
Justin Tereshko - Tereshko enters this tournament as the leader in the KGA’s John C. Owens Player of the Year standings He put on a show at Griffin Gate Golf Club during the Kentucky Match Play Championship before being edged out by Denver Haddix in the title match. Last year in this championship, he finished T23. He is the Head Coach of the Bellarmine Knights’ men’s golf team.
Shawn Tipton - Tipton was the 19th of the 19 players who finished under-par in last year’s Kentucky Open. A quality final round of 68 (-4) was the biggest influence behind that finish. That result nearly matched his best finish in this championship, which is a T15 from 2019 at Kearney Hill Golf Links.
Cameron Travis - The Richmond native is in the State Open’s field for the third consecutive year. In 2021, he finished T62. Travis qualified for this year’s edition at Gibson Bay with a score of 72 (E).
Matthew Troutman - One of the popular picks to win and for good reason. Troutman won the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur last month at Indian Hills Country Club despite never obtaining a piece of the lead until the final hole of regulation. Persimmon Ridge is his home course, and he displayed his knowledge of the property last year when he finished T6. He will begin his college career with the Oklahoma Sooners this fall.
Kannon Tucker - A sophomore at Bellarmine University and Somerset native, Tucker made the cut in last month’s State Am and finished T47. He had shot rounds of 68-71 in the first two rounds before a final round 79 (+8) sent him tumbling a little bit, so three good rounds this week could result in Tucker being a name to watch.
Michael Vick, PGA - The Director, Junior Programs at Golf House Kentucky. Vick is in the middle of his second season running the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour after working in part-time roles with Golf House Kentucky in 2019 and 2020.
Johnny Vidal - The Associate Head Golf Professional of Perry Park Resort. He qualified at Gibson Bay Golf Course with a score of 74 (+2) to finish T24. He also competed in the Barbasol Championship Monday Qualifier earlier this month.
Eric Voss, PGA - An Assistant Golf Professional at Bowling Green Country Club. Voss was born and raised in Decatur, Alabama where he did internships at golf courses which directed him in the direction of obtaining PGA Membership through the Mississippi State PGA Golf Management program. He joined the staff at Bowling Green in 2021 and had a strong debut within Kentucky PGA tournaments, helping him get a spot on the squad’s roster for the Coomer Cup last fall.
Drew Wallace - A recent high school graduate from Crestwood, Wallace will start his college golf journey next month with the Murray State Racers. Last year, he posted a top-ten finish in an AJGA tournament held in Detroit.
Tom Walters, PGA - The Head Golf Professional at Summit Hills Country Club in Crestview Hills. He chairs the Section’s Tournament Committee and is the Kentucky Section’s District 1 Director. He relocated to Kentucky to take his position at Summit Hills in 2018 after spending several years in the Southern Ohio Section and worked in Florida before becoming a PGA Member.
Justin Warman - Warman is a decorated member of the Men’s Golf team at Campbellsville University. He has won the Mid-South Conference’s Player of the Year, been honored as an NAIA Second Team All-American honoree plus as an NCCAA First Team All-American. He came close to winning this title a year ago and finished T4, with a final round 66 (-6) nearly jumping him to the top of the leaderboard.
Hayden Warren - A rising star from Owensboro who will soon embark on his college golf journey with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. He and his brother Stephen won the Kentucky Team Championship at Frankfort Country Club earlier this season.
Stephen Warren - The older brother of Hayden and the second half of the winning Kentucky Team Championship pair. Stephen put forth a solid showing in the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur at Indian Hills Country Club with a T18 result.
Aaron Watkins - With a round of 72 (E) from the Gibson Bay qualifier, the London resident is in the field. His hometown hosted the State Open back in 1974 at London Country Club where Al Atkins won this championship for the third and final time.
Blake Watts, PGA - The Head Golf Professional at Hurstbourne Country Club. In the 2011 Kentucky Open, Watts finished runner-up that year when it was held at this very venue in Persimmon Ridge. He is a four-time champion of the Kentucky PGA Professional Championship, having captured that trophy in 2010, 2016, 2017, and 2019.
Logan Watts, PGA - The brother of Blake, Logan is the Co-Head Golf Professional at Louisville Country Club. He was the runner-up in the National Car Rental Kentucky Assistant PGA Professional Championship last year at South Park Country Club and then won the Assistant Match Play Championship at his home facility a few weeks later.
Jakob Wellman - The Owensboro native and graduate of Owensboro Catholic qualified in Owensboro with a round of 72 (E). He is set to begin his college golf career with the Murray State Racers this fall.
Gabe Wheeler - An Assistant Golf Professional at Country Club of Paducah, Wheeler has enjoyed a very good 2022 season thus far which has gotten him to the top of the ROLEX Assistant Player of the Year standings heading into this tournament.
J.B Williams - The three-time defending champion of the Kentucky Open, the first person to ever hold that distinction. In 2019, he won in a playoff at Kearney Hill Golf Links over Even Davis. In 2020, he won at Triple Crown Country Club by two strokes over Jacob Cook and Trey Shirley. Then last year, he won at Persimmon Ridge by a stroke over Clay Amlung. Ever since this championship turned 100 years old, he’s won it each year.
Kyle Wilshire - Wilshire is from Lexington and went on to play college golf for the Golden Knights of Central Florida. In 2017, he played a full season on the Korn Ferry Tour and earned conditional status on PGA Tour Latino America in January 2020. He placed T15 in 2020 at Triple Crown Country Club and improved on that in 2021 with a T13 mark at Persimmon Ridge.
Jaden Wilson - A junior member at Oldham County Country Club, Wilson plays to a handicap of +1.2. He qualified at Heritage Hill when he shot 71 (-1).
Aaron Yarmuth - He is as good of a golfer as he is a writer, being the owner and editor of Leo Weekly. He’s also the son of John Yarmuth, a member of the House of Representatives serving Kentucky’s third district. Yarmuth was a semifinalist in the State Match Play Championship earlier this season at Griffin Gate Golf Club.
Dane Zachman - For the second straight Kentucky Open, Zachman advanced into the field via the Persimmon Ridge member qualifier. He shot 78 (+6) in that qualifier and will hope to make the cut for the second straight year after finishing T65 in 2021.
Rocco Zakutney - A recent St. Mary High School graduate, Rocco takes his skills to UT-Martin this fall. He helped his high school team win the First Region championship, and Zakutney won five titles during his senior season. He finished T26 in the State Amateur last month at Indian Hills.
Hayden Zimmerer - After graduating high school at Christian Academy of Louisville in 2017, Zimmerer has been playing college golf for the Dayton Flyers, where he is now a graduate student. Last year in the State Open, he posted a T17 finish and got increasingly better each round before finishing with a flourish at 75-73-66.