Josh Rhodes Leads By One After Round One of the Clark's Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Mid-Am

ASHLAND, KY (August 23, 2021) – Three players with love for western Kentucky comprise the top three of the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Mid-Am in eastern Kentucky. Josh Rhodes and Drake Stepter, two Paducah natives, own those spots along with Davis Boland who won this same championship last year in Paducah. At the halfway point from Bellefonte Country Club, those players shot 65 (-5) and 66 (-4) with Rhodes holding the lead outright.

Celebrating the ten-year anniversary of his previous State Mid-Am victory which occurred at The Country Club of Owensboro, Rhodes turned in 34 (-1) before a fantastic back nine 31 (-4) elevated him to the pole position. Four birdies in five holes to open the latter side before tacking on another birdie on the 17th were the cornerstone moments vaulting him to the lead.

Stepter and Boland share second place and also share similar round one scorecards, as both players had five birdies and one bogey while making their way around Bellfonte. Each bogey came in the closing stretch for each player which thwarted the possibility of a three-way tie for the lead. Consequently, Stepter and Boland will have one shot of ground to make up on the KGA’s 2020 Player of the Year during Tuesday’s final round. The three of them will play together in the final group which is set to begin at 11:10 a.m. EDT.

Matt Epperson, Chad Howard, Denver Haddix, and Tom Campbell each shot 68 (-2) creating a four-way tie for fourth place. They round out the top-five and the list of players who carded an under-par gross total from the Open Division.

In the Open Division’s net competition, Boland and Tony Brown are atop the standings with scores of 71 (-1). That leads by one shot over Rhodes and Jesse Hunt.

The Senior Division (players aged 50-59) is led by Campbell in dominant fashion as he is eight shots up on Rodney Chancey. Because both the Open Division and Senior Division are playing from the same set of tees, the Senior Division’s contestants are thus eligible to compete in both competitions. With a large lead here and within striking distance of Rhodes in the overall tournament, Campbell has the potential to double-dip and get first-place in both the Open and Senior Divisions.

Campbell also leads the net race of the Senior Division with Chancey once again his nearest chaser. That gap is smaller, as Chancey finds himself three back of Campbell from the net perspective.

The Super Senior Division (players aged 60 or older) is controlled by John Gagai of Ironton who leads by six strokes. Having shot 72 (+2), Gagai leads Johnny Ray Turney and then has a ten-shot cushion on third-place.

Gagai is also the name leading the net race here, but it’s George Gagai atop this leaderboard. He shot a net 69 (-1) with John five shots back of that score.


  • Three eagles were made in the first round with two of those falling on the par-four 11th. Cam Roam and James Richardson were responsible for those. Kent Ryu also made eagle on the par-five 1st.
  • Thanks in part to the eagles from Roam and Richardson, 11 did play as the easiest hole of the day. Fourteen birdies were also made across the field leading to an average score of exactly even-par at 4.00.
  • The par-three 15th was the hardest hole of the round. More than half the field made bogey or worse as its average score-to-par was +0.73.
  • The front nine was the easier side to begin the championship as its average score was 38.20. The back nine played 0.70 strokes harder at 38.90, adding up to an 18-hole average score of 77.10.

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Golf House Kentucky is the umbrella organization for Kentucky’s Family of Golf Organizations: Kentucky Golf Association, Kentucky PGA and Kentucky Golf Foundation. The vision of Kentucky’s golf leaders, Golf House Kentucky was founded in 1978, and is headquartered in a picturesque country setting in Louisville, Kentucky. Golf House Kentucky conducts competitions for golfers of all ages, gender and skill levels (amateur, professional and junior), and provides valuable services to Kentucky PGA professionals and member golf facilities. Working in partnership with the USGA, Golf House Kentucky provides individual golfers and member golf facilities with a wide range of services: Handicapping, USGA Course and Slope Rating, award programs, club consulting and golf management software. The family’s philanthropic affiliate, Kentucky Golf Foundation promotes the Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame, Kentucky golf museum and provides grant and scholarship programs for youth in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

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