Links: Final Results
Andrew Stephens of Union, KY and The Stephens Golf Academy shot rounds of 68-70—138 (-6) to win the 2018 Kentucky PGA Professional Championship. The tournament, which was played September 17th & 18th at Kearney Hill Golf Links in Lexington, KY, was open to all Kentucky PGA Professionals.
Stephens began the day one stroke behind two-time Kentucky PGA Champion Keith Ohr of Lake Forest Country Club, who shot 67 to grab the overnight lead. Both players got off to a slow start, with Ohr one over-par and Stephens two over-par through the first three holes.
Despite the slow start, Stephens rebounded with birdies on the 5th and 7th holes to make the turn in even-par. With Ohr shooting 37 on the front nine, the pair were tied atop the leaderboard with just nine holes to play.
“Keith and I were neck and neck the whole day and were never more than a shot apart,” said Stephens. “The shot of the day for me was the putt I made on the 5th hole for birdie. I was two over through four and struggling. I hit it to about 15-feet and made the putt, which really relaxed and motivated me, and it definitely got the round going.”
Both players traded blows throughout the day, with Stephens taking the lead on the 10th hole after Ohr made a bogey. Ohr would rebound, making birdies on holes #14 and 16 to square up the battle. But Stephens would have the final punch, hitting his 40-yard approach shot into the par-5 18th hole to within 4 feet of the hole. As Ohr’s birdie effort slid by the cup, Stephens calmly rolled in his birdie putt for his the title.
The win marked Stephens first Kentucky PGA Professional Championship, having been elected to PGA Membership this past winter. He and his wife Sara, who also competed in the tournament, are co-founders of The Stephens Golf Academy in Burlington, Kentucky.
“It was pretty awesome, and I’m just ecstatic at the moment,” said Stephens. “My #1 goal this week was to qualify for the PGA Professional Championship, but this is the biggest win in my golf career.”
As Ohr and Stephens battled for the top spot, they had a familiar name making a move up the leaderboard. After an opening round of 73, John Bachman of Lake Forest Country Club began his final round six under-par through his first seven holes. Although his charge came up just short, Bachman earned the third qualifying spot and will join Ohr, Stephens and Brent Paladino of Golf House Kentucky at the 52nd PGA Professional Championship. The low four qualifiers advanced to the prestigious event, which will take place April 28 – May 1 at Belfair in Bluffton, South Carolina.
Up next for the Kentucky Section PGA is the TaylorMade Pro-Pro Championship, being played Monday, September 24th at Winchester Country Club. Complete coverage and results will be available at kygolf.org
1) Andrew Stephens, The Stephens Golf Academy – 68-70—138 (-6)
2) Keith Ohr, Lake Forest CC – 67-72—139 (-5)
3) John Bachman, Lake Forest CC – 73-67—140 (-4)
4) Brent Paladino, Golf House KY – 73-68–141 (-3)
The players listed above qualified for the 52nd PGA Professional Championship (April 28 – May 1 at Belfair in Bluffton, South Carolina)
5) John Mullendore, Indian Hills CC – 70-72—142 (-2) *1st Alternate
T6) Blake Watts, Wildwood CC – 69-75—144 (Even) *2nd Alternate
T6) Grover Justice, High Performance Golf Academy – 71-73—144 (Even) *3rd Alternate
8) Colby Wollitz, The Golf Academy at Persimmon Ridge – 77-69—146 (+2) *4th Alternate
About the Kentucky PGA
The Kentucky PGA (KPGA) is one of the 41 sections that comprise The PGA of America. Formed in 1925, the Kentucky PGA has a professional membership of more than 325 men and women professionals across the Commonwealth of Kentucky, each of whom is dedicated to promoting the game in Kentucky. Kentucky PGA Professionals are responsible for conducting a variety of golf-related functions, which include general management, golf instruction, tournament operations, golf shop merchandising, junior golf programs, golf club repair, and much more. The KPGA is a founding member of Golf House Kentucky, the umbrella organization that manages Kentucky’s Family of Golf Organizations.