JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — It is a one-of-a-kind event and the stakes are high. After nearly two years of anticipation, the inaugural Barbasol Junior Championship has finally teed off at Keene Run in Jessamine County. The tournament was canceled last year due to the pandemic.
"That was probably the most disappointing thing for me with all the things we lost last year, so to have it back this year is really great," said Ethan Fisher, of Golf House Kentucky.
The caliber of golf is expected to be elite with 109 of the best junior golfers in the world competing. Five countries are represented, 17 states, and a third of the golfers are from Kentucky.
Fisher said, "The golf this week is going to be fantastic. I'd say at least 15 under for the three rounds is probably something you could benchmark for what it'll take to win."
The prize for winning the tournament is a coveted spot in the Barbasol Championship in July to play with some of the best pro golfers on the planet.
But the winner is also awarded the Cullen Brown trophy. The 20-year-old passed away in 2020 from bone cancer, but he made a lasting impact on Kentucky.
"He was a great human, he was a great Kentucky junior golfer, and it just made sense for us to name the trophy in his honor," said Bryan Pettigrew, the director of the Barbasol Championship tournament.
Just like the pro tournament it leads up to, the junior championship is focusing on family fun with food trucks and even a golf clinic for the kids. On July 15, one of the young golfers will go head-to-head with some of the world's best. Past winners Jim Herman and Troy Merritt are both expected in the Barbasol Championship, as is the "Wild Thing" himself, John Daly.
Pettigrew said, "This is the only PGA Tour event that offers an exemption into its tournament for a junior under the age of 19 years old, so we are proud to be the first one doing that and offering that to these junior golfers."
The junior tournament is free and open to the public. Click here for more information, including how to stream the event online visit.
The Barbasol Championship is scheduled for July 15-18. Volunteers are still needed to help in various ways.