NICHOLASVILLE, KY (June 30, 2021) – The inaugural Barbasol Junior Championship now lies firmly in control of Preston Summerhays. Entering Wednesday’s play with a four-stroke lead, Summerhays was able to bump his cushion to six shots in advance of Thursday’s final round.
Round two got off to a perfect start for Summerhays thanks to two birdies on his first two holes. His dream start was thwarted on the 3rd after a bogey, while a surprising bogey on the par-five 8th reduced his lead to three shots at that point. Playing even-par golf for the next several holes kept his lead at three, but a big finish from the leader changed the complexion of the tournament. A birdie on the 16th put momentum back in Summerhays’ favor and for the second consecutive day, he made eagle on the 17th to get six in front. After a par on the 18th, the 2020 U.S. Open participant is now just one round away from getting another crack at a professional event which would come in two weeks at the Barbasol Championship.
“I hit a great wedge on the first to make birdie there and get things off to a good start,” Summerhays said. “After the 2nd hole, I didn’t hit a whole lot of fairways so I wasn’t able to hit my approaches as close as I could have. And after putting really well yesterday, the putts just didn’t seem like they were falling as much today. I stayed patient though and knew I could get some momentum heading into tomorrow and that finish really helped me do that. Tomorrow, I’ll just stick to what’s gotten me to this point and stay aggressive when I have a good club in my hand to the right number.”
One aspect of the final round that Summerhays and the rest of the field will be paying close attention to is the weather, which is currently forecasted to be much cooler with rain likely for most of the day. A weather contingency plan was established by the tournament committee stating that the tournament will finish on Thursday and not be extended any further. It states if 54 holes cannot be completed, the tournament will go down as a 45-hole event if all players complete the front nine. If that is not feasible, players’ 36-hole scores will count as final. But the attempt to make it a 54-hole event will be made, and if it does rain, Summerhays is prepared to adjust.
“Honestly, I think the golf course will change a lot if it does rain tomorrow. The rough here is already thick and if it gets saturated it will be extremely difficult to hit greens from there. That will make hitting the fairway a premium, but on the other hand, the greens should be a lot softer and receptive to approach shots. They’ll most likely be a little slower too so everyone will have to adjust for that.”
Four players are at 139 (-5) through two rounds and in a tie for second place. Andrew Goodman, Nicholas Gross, Myles Jones, and low Kentuckian Matthew Troutman are those closest to Summerhays entering the final round. All were under-par on Wednesday and will enter the final round with some momentum as they attempt to chase down the leader. Based off them finishing earlier on Wednesday, Goodman and Jones will join Summerhays in the final group which is scheduled to tee off at 12:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday.
Joshua Stewart stands in solo sixth place while Luke Coyle, Jordan Gilkinson, Alejandro Gonzalez, and Baron Szeto round out the top ten in a tie for seventh place.
NOTES & STATS
- Luke Coyle, one of those in the top ten, had the low round of the day on Wednesday with a 66 (-6). It was a bogey-free effort from the Campbellsville product that ended in style with a back nine 32 (-4).
- Today’s eagle count was ten with all but one of them coming on a par-five. Jeevan Sihota made the only one on a par-four, which came on the 9th thanks to a hole-out from the fairway.
- After playing second-hardest in the first round, the par-three 15th made its presence felt even more on Wednesday and played as the toughest hole of the day. Its stroke-to-par average was +0.59.
- The par-five 2nd was the easiest hole at -0.29. Three of the ten eagles made throughout the day occurred here, while forty-four players got a birdie here on Wednesday.
- The front nine was still easier than the back nine in round two, but not to the same extent it was in the first round. The front played 0.38 strokes easier compared to the back nine on Wednesday.
- The second round’s scoring average was 75.84, which was 0.12 strokes easier than round one’s average.
The Barbasol Junior Championship will have full coverage of the competition throughout the final round on its Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages. Additionally, Junior Golf Live will provide streaming of the tournament throughout the round.