Battling high temperatures and gusty winds, Joshua Rhodes of Paducah, KY and Alex Doss of Campbellsville, KY shot rounds of two under-par 70 to take the lead at the 104th Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur Championship. The state’s premier amateur championship is being played June 19-21 at Hunting Creek Country Club in Prospect, Kentucky.
Doss began his quest for his first Kentucky Amateur title at 2:15 p.m. and struggled out of the starting gate, making bogey on two of his first four holes. However, after the early stumble, he would go on to play near flawless golf, making four birdies and no bogies in his closing fourteen holes to finish with an impressive round of two under-par.
“I thought the course definitely played difficult and you really had to keep the ball in the fairway and stay below the hole,” said Doss. “My wedges and play around the green, from 50 yards gave myself good looks for either birdie or to get up and down for par. I’ve been hitting the ball well but not shooting low scores, so my confidence wasn’t super high. The round today really boosted my confidence.”
Joining Doss at the top of the leaderboard is Joshua Rhodes, who similarly made the turn at one over-par before making birdies on five of his next six holes to jump into contention.
“I remember playing the [Kentucky] Open here and there were a few holes you need to get through,” said Rhodes, who string of birdies included a hole-out from the bunker on #14. “I was a little frustrated on the front nine, but made the turn and starting making putts. I actually kind of thought the round got away from me a little bit towards the end because it could have been really deep.”
Trailing Doss and Rhodes by one stroke are Billy Basham (Louisville) and Fadhli Soetarso (Lexington), both of whom shot rounds of one under-par 71. A total of eight players shot par or better, with Justin Tereshko (Lexington), Joseph Deraney (Lexington) and Mason Lenhart (Prospect) all shooting even-par 72.
With the course stretching to over 7,150 yards, low scores were hard to come by for the 156 of the state’s best amateurs. Thick rough and fast greens coupled with a steady breeze made scoring difficult in the opening round. With a tightly packed leaderboard, staying patient will be a key as the leaders look to create some separation from the field.
“It’s still a long way to go and anything can happen out here,” said Soetarso. “You can’t get too aggressive and definitely need to stick to your game plan and make sure to leave yourself uphill putts.”
Round two action begins at 8:00 a.m. with live scoring and complete coverage throughout the day at kygolf.org and on social media @GolfHouseKY.
A Championship Test
Hunting Creek Country Club certainly proved to be a stern test of golf on day one, with only four players breaking par (72). The last time the Kentucky Amateur was played at Hunting Creek CC, J.B. Holmes, now a four-time PGA Tour winner, won the title with a score of three under-par 213. As the forecast calls for more wind on Wednesday and Thursday, any player shooting a round under par will no doubt move up the leaderboard.
What’s in a Cut?
Following Wednesday’s second round, the field of 156 players will be cut to the low 70 players, plus ties. Those players will advance to play the final round on Thursday, June 21st. At day’s end, a total of 73 players shot rounds of 79 (+7) or better. Based on the projected cut method utilized by the USGA, the cut would fall at 158 (+14).
In addition to full championship coverage on our website at kygolf.org, players and spectators can join the conversation using the hashtag #KYAmateur.
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About the Kentucky Golf Association
The Kentucky Golf Association (KGA) is recognized by the USGA as the governing body for amateur golf in the Commonwealth. Founded in 1911, the KGA is a full service golf association comprised of over 180 member golf courses. The KGA is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of representatives from course across Kentucky. The KGA serves and fulfills many roles for golf in Kentucky. The KGA is a founding member of Golf House Kentucky, the umbrella organization that manages Kentucky’s Family of Golf Organizations.