NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. – Kentucky golf fans now will get to watch their favorite players up close without having to drive a long distance.
With new host facility Keene Trace Golf Club serving as the backdrop and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin heading a delegation of state and local dignitaries who joined PGA Tour executive Andy Pazder, it was announced Wednesday, Oct. 18 that the 2018 Barbasol Championship will become Kentucky’s first PGA Tour tournament in decades, come next July 16-22.
The fourth-year event will be contested on the Arthur Hills-designed Champions course in Nicholasville, approximately 10 miles from downtown Lexington. The move for the Barbasol Championship follows a successful three-year run at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Grand National course in Opelika, Ala.
It will be the first PGA Tour tournament to be held in the state since the Kentucky Derby Open was contested in Louisville from 1957-59. Gary Player claimed his first Tour victory in the 1958 event.
(Note: PGA Tour Champions also held the Bank One Classic in Lexington from 1983-97. In addition, Louisville-based Valhalla Golf Club hosted the Ryder Cup and PGA Championship in the past but does not have an annual event.)
“We are excited to bring the PGA Tour and our players to Lexington in 2018,” said Pazder, the Tour’s Chief Tournaments and Competitions Officer. “We have been looking for the right opportunity to return to the area as it has been 20 years since we last held a PGA Tour Champions tournament in Lexington. With the Bluegrass Sports Commission as the tournament’s host organization and bd Global as the tournament operator, having a great facility in Champions and, of course, Barbasol as the title sponsor, we have a strong partnership in place that will make the 2018 Barbasol Championship a tremendous success.”
Gov. Bevin added, “Being selected as the latest PGA Tour stop is a significant development, and we are excited to showcase the greatness of Kentucky to golf fans from around the world. It will be an incredible honor for Kentucky to host these individual and corporate guests each summer. From this day forward, the PGA Tour can join us in saying: ‘We are Kentucky!’”
The tournament will carry a purse of $3.5 million and award 300 FedExCup points to the champion. Officials are looking to make the 2018 Barbasol Championship a regional celebration that showcases the Bluegrass State and area attractions, including its famous horse farms and distilleries. The tournament is expected to have an economic impact in excess of $20 million.
“America’s trusted brand for shaving cream, and now razors, has a long-standing connection to golf that dates back nearly 100 years,” said Tom Murray, CEO of Perio Inc., the parent company of Barbasol. “Today, that tradition continues with our support of the Barbasol Championship in Lexington, Kentucky.”
Since opening in 1988, the Champion course has played host to a number of championships, including the 1994 USGA Senior Amateur, the 1993 NCAA Division One Men’s Championship, the Southeastern Conference Men’s and Women’s Championships, the Women’s Western Open, the Kentucky State Amateur and multiple Kentucky Opens. Consistently ranked as one of the best courses in Kentucky, Champions’ final three holes are expected to provide drama with the drivable par-4 16th, difficult par-4 17th and the par-3 18th, which will be surrounded by premium hospitality and fan amenities.
Last July, Grayson Murray emerged from a Barbasol Championship field that included seven major championship winners to claim his first PGA Tour victory.