Patrick Newcomb Roars from Behind to Win Kentucky Open at Persimmon Ridge
Patrick Newcomb erases five-shot deficit entering final round to win 103rd Kentucky Open by three strokes.
LOUISVILLE, KY (July 28, 2022) – For well over a decade, Benton native Patrick Newcomb has sought after the Kentucky Open. After several close calls in previous editions, the 103rd playing of the championship is his. The 32-year-old triumphed at Persimmon Ridge on Thursday with a winning score of 206 (-10) with a final round 68 (-4) pushing him across the finish line as the victor.
Entering Thursday, Newcomb was in third place and five shots behind overnight leader Kyle Wilshire. Newcomb made a birdie on hole 2 to draw a step closer, but the tournament swung on the par-three 4th when Wilshire made a triple bogey. Doing so wiped out the cushion Wilshire had built himself the first two rounds and put Newcomb, Matthew Troutman and Jansen Preston firmly within striking distance of the lead.
Wilshire, along with Preston who was in second place beginning the round, were each unable to capitalize on several good birdie opportunities each player had during the front nine. Multiple putts for birdie from both players ended with the ball narrowly missing the edge of the hole and resulting in pars throughout the day. Neither player was able to make a birdie in the final round after the two players had combined for 24 birdies and an eagle on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The birdies from the lead contingent instead came from Newcomb and Troutman, who were able to separate themselves as the back nine progressed. Newcomb took the outright lead for the first time with a birdie on the par-four 10th. Playing in the group ahead of Newcomb, Troutman was able tie him on the par-five 15th when he made his fourth birdie in six holes. Newcomb quickly got the lead back with a birdie of his own on the 15th and took a two-stroke lead when Troutman made bogey on the 17th. Stress-free pars for Newcomb on the 16th and 17th holes ensued, and a magnificent fairway wood from over 230 yards out on the par-five 18th to twenty feet eliminated any doubt for Newcomb. A two-putt birdie later, and Newcomb had sealed the deal for a three-stroke margin of victory and became the fourteenth player all-time to win both the Kentucky Open and Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur.
“This feels really cool,” said Newcomb after receiving the trophy. “I like this event, I like Persimmon Ridge, and the tournament being here consecutive years is part of the reason why I’m able to keep playing in the Open. I’m playing almost every week on the Korn Ferry Tour, but my familiarity with the golf course gives me the chance to feel prepared entering this tournament. I came here from Springfield, Missouri which wasn’t too bad of a trip to take on Sunday night, but this event means so much to me and it’s why I wanted to play it. The Korn Ferry Tour has the week off so I could have taken the week to rest before going to Utah next week, but I wanted to win the Kentucky Open. And it feels amazing to finally hoist this trophy.”
Newcomb admitted that entering the final round, he felt his chances at coming back to win were slim and that if he was going to come back, a round closer to 65 (-7) is what would have been necessary. As it turned out, a number three strokes more than that was enough to clinch the title.
“Hitting fairways and greens at Persimmon Ridge always has to be your motto, and I got away from that on Wednesday. I just wanted to make some birdies today to apply some pressure and see what would happen. With the hole locations that were set today, birdies were there for the taking but it was so demanding that a round could get away from you fast. A lot of things have to go right for you to come back from five shots, but I got some help from the other guys and played solidly enough to do it.”
Troutman’s runner-up finish resulted in him taking the low amateur honors, a tremendous feat after winning the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur one month ago. Troutman would have become the third player all-time to win both tournaments in the same year had he won today. Wilshire and Preston both finished in a tie for third place, five shots back of Newcomb.
NOTES & STATS
- The low round on Thursday came from Patrick Brooks who shot 67 (-5). He scaled the leaderboard with that performance and finished in a tie for eighth place.
- This edition of the Kentucky Open makes it the first in three years without J.B. Williams finishing victorious. The 2019, 2020 and 2021 champion finished T64 this year.
- Round three featured a limited number of eagles after a barrage of them in the first two rounds. Just three were made on Thursday with two coming on the par-five 3rd and one on the par-five 15th.
- The par-four 16th was set up to be reachable off the tee on Thursday. The risk-reward option yielded more reward than risk as it played as the third-easiest hole with a stroke-to-par average of -0.05. Twenty birdies were made, but fourteen players did card a bogey or double bogey.
- Hole 3 was the easiest of the final round at -0.23. Accounting for all three rounds, it also played as the easiest of the championship at -0.06.
- Thursday’s hardest hole was the par-four 9th at +0.44. It had the fewest birdies made of any hole in the final round with just three.
- Hole 13 was the hardest when adjusting for every round of the tournament. It played to a rate of +0.49 for the week.
The Kentucky PGA extends its thanks to Steve Shafer, PGA Director of Golf and the entire staff at Persimmon Ridge Golf Club for their hosting of the championship. The Section also sends its appreciation towards each of the players who competed in the tournament as well as their friends and family members who attended the competition throughout the week.
Next year, Persimmon Ridge will host the Kentucky Open for the third consecutive year when the 104th edition of the championship takes place on July 25-27, 2023. The exemption list and qualifying sites for that tournament will be distributed this winter.
About the Kentucky PGA:
The Kentucky PGA Section (KPGA) is one of forty-one Sections across the country representing the PGA of America and its Members. It is also one of three organizations encompassed within Golf House Kentucky, which also includes the Kentucky Golf Association (KGA) and Kentucky Golf Foundation (KGF). The KPGA contains more than 275 Members and more than 30 Associates working in various roles across Kentucky; all of whom share the goal of bettering the game and its players. The KPGA and its Members assist with the organization of many chief growth-of-the-game initiatives including PGA HOPE and PGA Jr. League among others. The Section also operates more than thirty tournaments throughout the golf season, including the three State Open championships and qualifiers for the Barbasol Championship.
Ethan Fisher, PGA | Golf House Kentucky | firstname.lastname@example.org | (502) 792-9703