Scott Caldarelli of Covington, KY, Ken Francke of Nicholasville, KY and Buddy Bryant of Lexington, KY all shot rounds of one over-par 73 to take the overnight lead at the Kentucky Senior Amateur Championship, while Tony Wise, Jim Caudill, Rick Cain and Don Wood are all leading in their respective divisions. The tournament, which is being played August 28-29 at Persimmon Ridge Golf Club in Louisville, KY, gathers the state’s top senior amateur players for a 36-hole stroke play championship.
Senior Championship Division (Ages 50+)
The winner of the Senior Division will be crowned the 2018 Kentucky Senior Amateur Champion and is open to all seniors ages 50 and over. Under sunny skies and summer heat, a total of 99 golfers made their way around the championship layout at Persimmon Ridge Golf Club. Set up at 6,664 yards and a par of 72, it is widely regarded as one of the premiere tests of golf in the state.
The course most certainly tested the best on Tuesday, as virtually all of the players at the top of the leaderboard had to overcome a big number at some point during their round. Scott Caldarelli bounced back after a double bogey on the par-4 sixth hole by making two birdies in his final four holes. Bryant, the two-time Kentucky Amateur Champion was able to overcome a triple-bogey on his 5thfire hole of the day, finishing with three birdies in a row on holes 16-18. Ken Francke played perhaps the steadiest of the group of leaders, making two birdies and just three bogies to post his round of one over-par.
Sitting just one stroke behind is Scott Pottinger of Louisville, KY, Lance Lucas of Union, KY and defending champion Scott Ray of Central City, KY, who both opened with rounds of two over-par 74. A total of nine players are within three strokes of the lead, and no doubt the key to capturing the title will be avoiding the big numbers. The stretch of Holes 9-13 played the most difficult of any on the course and the eventual champion will need to navigate the demanding set of tee shots with precision.
Mid-Senior Division (Ages 40 – 49)
Tony Wise of Georgetown, KY shot a round of five over-par 77 to take the lead in the Mid-Senior Division of the Championship. The Mid-Senior Division is open to all players ages 40-49, with top finishers earning points in the Herbie McGuire Mid-Senior Player of the Year race. Wise is currently in second place in that race, and a victory here at the Senior Amateur would give him the lead heading into the home stretch of the KGA tournament season.
Masters Division (Ages 60 – 69)
Jim Caudill of Morehead, KY fired the low round of the day, a remarkable three under-par 69 that included three birdies and no bogies. He’ll take a two stroke heading into the final round, as he leads over Gary Backlund of Mt. Sterling, KY, who shot 71 (-1). John Gagai of Ironton, KY and Elmo Greer of London, KY are both four strokes back after opening rounds of 73 (+1).
Legends Division (Ages 70+)
Leland Hulbert of Prospect, KY made his way around Persimmon Ridge Golf Club in just 73 strokes to take the lead in the Legends Division. Rick Cain of Louisville, KY, who won the Masters Division of the Senior Amateur in 2017, shot a round of 74 and is just one stroke behind.
The final round will begin at 8:00 a.m., with the Senior Division leaders beginning play at 10:20 a.m. Live scoring and complete coverage will be available at kygolf.org.
About the Course
Persimmon Ridge Golf Club was designed by Arthur Hills and opened for play in 1989. This year marks the first, has previously hosted three Kentucky Open Championships, the Kentucky State Amateur Championship and the NCAA Division II Women’s Championship.. The course was the vision of Elmore Just, Kentucky Golf Hall of Fame inductee, who originally built the course and passed away in 2001.
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.