Fresh off leading the Kentucky men’s golf team to its 10th appearance in the NCAA Championship in program history last week, graduates Chip McDaniel and Cooper Musselman will make their official pro debuts in the state’s upcoming local PGA event.
UK’s dynamic duo for the last four seasons received exemptions to participate in next month’s Barbasol event at Keene Trace in Nicholassville, Kentucky, it was announced at a press conference and media day for the event on Monday.
Keene Trace is no stranger to hosting major tournaments. Designed by world-renowned golf architect Arthur Hills, it has hosted the USGA Senior Amateur, the NCAA Championship, the men’s and women’s Southeastern Conference Championship, the Women’s Western Open, the Kentucky Open and the state amateur.
The Barbasol Championship is set for July 16-22 and marks the first PGA Tour event in decades in the state of Kentucky. The tournament will carry a purse of $3.5 million and award 300 FedExCup points to the champion.
McDaniel and Musselman helped lead the Wildcats to an NCAA Championship appearance twice during their tenure, including a Regional appearance in each of the last three seasons. They combined for nearly 100 career starts, 130 par-or-better rounds, 25 top-10 finishes and 45 top-20 finishes.
McDaniel, a native of Manchester, Kentucky, played 133 collegiate rounds with a 72.00 stroke average. His senior season was highlighted by a victory at the Bearcat Invitational where he fired a career-low 54-hole total of 201. That marked the second-lowest score in the Brian Craig era. He matched that total at the Gary Koch Invitational where he helped UK win its fourth event of the season in a runner-up individual finish.
Musselman, a Louisville, Kentucky, native shot a career average of 72.91 over 129 rounds. He led the Wildcats his senior season in stroke average (72.08), par-or-better rounds (21) and top-10 finishes (4). An individual win at the Crooked Stick Intercollegiate marked a season high for Musselman. He also carded career-low rounds (67) and 54-hole tournament scores (207).