The PGA Tour’s annual stop in Central Kentucky will have a new look this year, both in terms of the players competing and what they’ll be playing for.
The Barbasol Championship, scheduled Thursday through Sunday at Champions at Keene Trace in Nicholasville, is no longer held at the same time as The Open Championship, which will be played this year at St. Andrews in Scotland.
Instead, the Barbasol Championship will be played the week before, and the winner will earn the final qualifying spot into The Open.
On Friday night, the group of players that will compete for that final spot in The Open was revealed.
One more player will be added to the field on Monday, after the Barbasol Championship qualifier has been completed.
Some highlights from the field of 156 players set to play in Nicholasville include:
▪ Highest-ranked player (Official World Golf Rankings): J.T. Poston (99th).
Poston is the only player currently ranked in the OWGR top 100 in the field. As of Saturday morning, Poston was the leader at this week’s PGA Tour event, the John Deere Classic.
Poston led for the majority of last year’s Barbasol Championship, but then lost in a playoff.
Career-wise, the most accomplished player in the Barbasol field is Jason Dufner, the winner of the 2013 PGA Championship and a member of the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup team.
▪ Past Barbasol champions: Aaron Baddeley (2016), Grayson Murray (2017) and Jim Herman (2019).
▪ Golfers with Kentucky ties: Matt Harris (Henry Clay High School, Eastern Kentucky), Matti Schmid (University of Louisville), Stephen Stallings Jr. (St. Xavier High School, UK), Andrew Stephens (Covington Latin High School, UK), Josh Teater (Henry Clay High School, Morehead State) and Jared Wolfe (Butler High School, Murray State).
▪ Players from the DP World Tour (also known as the European Tour): 50.
▪ Tournament purse: $3.7 million.
This year’s Barbasol Championship will be played at the same time as the Genesis Scottish Open, a DP World Tour (also known as the European Tour) event commonly used by players to tune up for The Open.
But for players without a spot in The Open, the Barbasol Championship represents a final chance to earn a spot in golf’s final major of the calendar year.
One thing is certain, though: There won’t be consecutive winners of the Barbasol Championship.
The event has had six different winners in its six editions, but Irishman Seamus Power — who won the 2021 Barbasol Championship after a six-hole playoff against Poston — will not be in the field for this year’s tournament. He already has a spot in The Open locked up.
The Barbasol Championship has been held at Champions at Keene Trace in Nicholasville since 2018.
The first three editions of the tournament were played in Alabama.
Monday and Tuesday will be the practice rounds for the Barbasol Championship. There will be a First Tee clinic on Tuesday.
Wednesday will be the pro-am and executive women’s day for the tournament. Thursday will be the first round of the Barbasol Championship, with gates opening at 7 a.m. It will also be Military and First Responders Day, although military and first responders can get into the event free of charge all four days.
Friday will be College Day, Saturday will be Family Day and Sunday will be the closing round of the tournament.