NICHOLASVILLE, KY (June 28, 2021) – It was on July 21, 2019 that the news broke about the creation of the Barbasol Junior Championship. Intentions were to hold the first edition of the tournament during the final week of June in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced the inaugural edition to be delayed. Now, after nearly two years of excitement surrounding this one-of-a-kind golf tournament, it is finally set to take place.
On Tuesday, June 29 the competition will get started from Keene Trace Golf Club – Keene Run. More than 100 junior golfers from all over the world will navigate 54 holes of stroke play before the tournament concludes on Thursday, July 1 where the winner will receive the Cullan Brown Trophy and an exemption into the PGA TOUR’s Barbasol Championship on July 15-18.
This is the only event in junior golf of its kind, where the champion gets a direct invitation to compete in a PGA TOUR tournament. The opportunity to compete against some of the top professionals in the world is an incredible experience, but the recipient of that chance will have certainly earned it after this week. The field at Keene Run is composed of an elite field of junior golfers, some of whom have USGA national championship experience, are committed to play Division 1 college golf, and/or multi-time winners of AJGA tournaments.
During the first two rounds, each combatant will start one round on the 1st hole and a round on the 10th hole. They will also play one round during a morning wave and a round during an afternoon wave. There is no cut in the tournament, so all players will play Thursday’s final round with tee times predicated off 36-hole scores.
The Barbasol Junior Championship will have full coverage of the competition throughout the week on its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. Additionally, Junior Golf Live will provide streaming of the tournament during the second and third rounds on Wednesday, June 30 and Thursday, July 1.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
1) How will the Kentuckians play? More than one-third of the field is made up of native Kentuckians who have the chance to win the inaugural edition of this event on their home turf. Many of whom have previous experience playing Keene Run in either tournament or recreational play. Whether they can take advantage of their knowledge and familiarity of course conditions in Kentucky will be interesting to see as the tournament progresses.
2) Risk-reward opportunities on the back nine. Several holes on the inward half of the golf course allow players the opportunity to hit a brave shot that has a significant pay-off while risking a sizable penalty. The par-five 11th, the longest hole on the golf course, will ask players to navigate a crossing creek with their second shots. The 16th, a drivable par-four, can easily be reached by many players off the tee. Some of the deepest bunkers and thickest rough on the property surround the putting surface though. Number 17, another par-five, features a pond fronting the green that will have to be crossed at some point. If it’s on the second shot in effort to go for the green, it could be a pivotal moment in shaping the player’s standing on the leaderboard.
3) How low will the leaders go? In the Barbasol Junior Qualifier on June 9-10, Justin Begley snagged medalist honors with a 36-hole score of -10 at Boone’s Trace National Golf Club. That shows how deep this week’s field is, which begs the question of what it will take to win at Keene Run. With little wind forecasted each of the next three days, the golf course should yield some low rounds. Properly played shots will be rewarded and with the greens rolling true, the top junior golfers in the world should expect to take it low this week.
Dates of Competition: June 29 – July 1, 2021
Competition Host: Keene Trace Golf Club – Keene Run
Golf Course Opening: 2007
Golf Course Architects: Keith Foster, Danny McQueen, Drew Rodgers
Golf Course Details: 7,139 yards – 136 slope – 74.4 course rating
Number of Competitors: 106
Countries Represented: United States (98), Mexico (4), Canada (2), China (1), Philippines (1)
United States Represented: Kentucky (42), California (12), Florida (7), Texas (6), Tennessee (5), Oklahoma (4), Louisiana (3), Ohio (3), Arizona (2), Arkansas (2), Georgia (2), Illinois (2), Oregon (2), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (2), Hawaii, North Carolina
Kentucky Cities Represented: Lexington (6), Louisville (5), Richmond (5), Benton (2), Crestwood (2), Nicholasville (2), Owensboro (2), Ashland, Beattyville, Bowling Green, Campbellsville, Florence, Grayson, La Grange, Madisonville, Manchester, Monticello, Paducah, Prospect, Robinson Creek, Shelbyville, Shepherdsville, Union, Vanceburg, Winchester