It was another warm late summer day for the final round of the Kentucky Mid-Amateur Championship at Danville Country Club on Tuesday, September 20. Almost 70 players teed it up to compete in four flights for the Championship, including the Championship Division for those vying for the main title (who must be ages 25 and over), the Players Division for anyone 25 years of age or older to compete for gross and net prizes, the Senior Division for those ages 55-64 vying for gross and net prizes and the Masters Division for those 65 and over vying for gross and net prizes. With so many close scores among the flights in the opening round, day two promised to be poised with drama.
The Masters Division got the day going with Louisville’s Joe Lenahan holding on for the wire-to-wire victory in the Gross Division. The Dale Barnstable Player of the Year (ages 65-71) in 2015 posted rounds of 77-76 to win by four over shots Jim Caudill of Morehead. Bruce Walters of Lexington finished an additional three shots back with rounds of 79-81. On the Net Side, Rick Smith of Winchester took home top honors, posting a two-over-par total and a two-shot victory over Macky Coomer of Somerset. Mike Centers, also of Somerset had rounds of 74-76 to finish Third Low Net.
The Senior Division kept things rolling with more great golf. Gary Backlund of Mt. Sterling had a share of the First Round lead with an opening 69 and followed it with another stellar round of 69 for a six-under-par finish and the Low Gross Honors. He was followed by Happy Rakestraw of Somerset at five-over-par 149 for his two-round total. Finishing an additional shot back was Kenneth Kirchner of Lexington with rounds of 77-73. John Lepping of Louisville (152), Roger Schoeni of Fort Thomas ((157) and Scott Pottinger of Louisville (154) rounded out the top six. On the Net Side, Danville Country Club Member Christopher Hill made a statement with rounds of 65-70 for Low Net Honors. He was followed by Mike Horan of Carrollton, who followed an opening round 73 with an impressive final round of 63. James Simpson of Eminence finished Third Low Net with scores of 69-74. Greg Grider of Russell Springs (145), Greg Turner of Alexandria (148) and Bill Leavell of Louisville rounded out the top six.
The Players Division was next to complete their portion of the Championship and they did so in great form. Craig Smith, another member of Danville Country Club used his advantage to take home the Low Gross victory with a two-day total of one-under-par. Don Kohler, Jr. of Prospect finished second with rounds of 74-78 and beat out Ken Francke of Nicholasville in a scorecard playoff. In the Net Portion, Casey Tooley of Summer Shade fired rounds of 66-71 to take Low Net honors. David Rudder of Lexington posted two consistent rounds of 72-73 to finish second and Trey Wilburn of Sadieville came back from opening round of 76 to finish with a 72 to take home Third Low Net.
The Championship Division set the dramatic curtain call for the day. Joe Deraney capitalized on his first round lead after an opening round of 69 by posting an even more impressive round of five-under-par 67 for a dominating eight-under-par finish. This should come as no surprise to anyone, as Deraney has had a great year; finishing tied for Seventh in the Kentucky Open, tied for Runner-Up in the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Marathon Kentucky Amateur and posted two huge amateur golf victories in the Timuquana Cup in Florida and Lupton Memorial in Tennessee this year. He was also named to represent Kentucky in the US State Team Championship in a few weeks. Deraney’s teammate at the State Team Championship and 2016 Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Marathon Kentucky Amateur Champion Andy Roberts of Owensboro finished second at six-under-par total with rounds of 70-68. Both Deraney and Roberts tied for third in last year’s Kentucky Mid-Amateur Championship. Deraney’s round was dotted almost halfway with birdies (he had eight), while Roberts had five birdies and an eagle on his card. Eric King of Somerset finished third with two scores of two-under-par 70. King has his own love affair with Danville Country Club – winning the J.E. Butler Memorial Tournament multiple times. Finishing a shot behind King at three-under-par was Rob Crockett, II of Louisville, who has also had a great year – one such highlight being making it to Match Play in the US Amateur Four-Ball Championship with Roberts. Michael Rickard of Corydon won the scorecard playoff among many tied at even-par, in front of Andy Paschal of Louisville, Ben Fuqua of Danville and Davis Boland of Louisville. Rounding out the top 15 included: Steven Brooks, Joshua Jarvi, Nick Jones, RJ Fultz, Evan Seagraves, Aaron Yarmuth and three-time Defending Champ David Jasper. Congrats to Deraney on his terrific play, he is a deserving Champion!
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First Round Highlights
The weather is unpredictable the first week of fall. It was rainy and cool for the 2015 Mid-Amateur Championship, but the 2016 event opening round was held on a gorgeous day with 80-degree temperatures at Danville Country Club on Monday, September 19. Almost 70 players teed it up to compete in four flights for the Championship. Those included the Championship Division for those vying for the main title (who must be ages 25 and over), the Players Division for anyone 25 years of age or older to compete for gross and net prizes, the Senior Division for those ages 55-64 vying for gross and net prizes and the Masters Division for those 65 and over vying for gross and net prizes. In the Championship Flight, all eyes will be on David Jasper of Prospect, as he looks for a four-peat victory. This would be no small feat with a talented and ready field of players to go against.
The Master’s Division got the day started on a high note. Joe Lenahan of Louisville posted a five-over-par round of 77 to lead the Gross scoring by one shot over Rick Smith of Winchester and two clear of Lexington’s Bruce Walters. The final round will definitely be anyone’s game! On the net side, Lenahan is one-under-par and one shot clear of Macky Coomer of Somerset and two ahead of Mike Centers, also of Somerset. The net scores are as tightly knit as the gross.
The Senior Division played some great golf in the opening round. Christopher Hill dominated the field on his home course by posting a three-under-par 69, which equated to a Net Score of 65. He finds himself tied for the lead in gross scores alongside Mt. Sterling’s Gary Backlund and two shots ahead of Kentucky Senior Amateur Champion, Steve Humphrey of Louisville. Hill leads the Net scoring by four shots over James Simpson of Eminence and an additional shot over Dennis Long of Shelbyville.
The Players Division continued the trend of posting great opening scores. Again, a member of Danville Country Club posted a share of the lead with Craig Smith firing a two-under-par round of 70. He shares the Gross lead with Casey Tooley of Summer Shade. They both have a four shot advantage over Don Kohler, Jr. of Prospect. Tooley also leads the Net portion with a great round of 66 and a three shot lead over Louisville’s Nadmid Tsevegsuren. Smith is an additional shot back alongside Tooley’s brother, Kerry of Rhineyville.
That all lead up to the finish of the Championship Division that promises plenty of final round action. Joe Deraney found his name at the top of the leaderboard after an opening round of three-under-par 69. His round was highlighted by four birdies and an eagle. That should come as no surprise, as Deraney has had a fantastic year: finishing tied for Seventh in the Kentucky Open, tied for Runner-Up in the Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Marathon Kentucky Amateur and posted two huge amateur golf victories in the Timuquana Cup in Florida and Lupton Memorial in Tennessee this year. He was also named to represent Kentucky in the US State Team Championship in a few weeks. Deraney’s teammate at the State Team Championship and 2016 Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Marathon Kentucky Amateur Champion Andy Roberts of Owensboro is one-shot back after a round of 70. Roberts finds himself in good company at two-under-par, alongside Steven Brooks of Wilmore and Eric King of Somerset. Roberts and King highlighted their day with three birdies and Brooks with four on his card. Roberts and Deraney finished Tied for Third in the 2015 Kentucky Mid-Amateur Championship. King has his own love affair with Danville Country Club – winning the J.E. Butler Memorial Tournament there multiple times. Other under-par rounds included Louisville’s Rob Crockett, II and Davis Boland – both posting one-under-par 71s. Three-time Defending Champ, Jasper, opened with a 78.
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