PGA Tour event relocates to Kentucky

Golf’s PGA Tour has announced that its Barbasol Championship will move from Opelika, Alabama to Nicholasville, Kentucky from next year.

The 2018 event will take place at Keen Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville from July 16-22. The tournament is held in the same week as The Open and serves as an alternative event to the major championship in the UK.

The move marks the first time that Kentucky has staged a PGA Tour event since the Kentucky Derby Open was held in Louisville from 1957 to 1959. The 1958 edition of that tournament was golf legend Gary Player’s first PGA Tour victory. Kentucky also hosted the Bank One Classic, a PGA Tour Champions event, from 1983 to 1997 in Lexington.

The Barbasol Championship launched in 2015, with the first three editions of the event having been held at Opelika’s Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail Grand National course. Grayson Murray (pictured) is the defending champion.

Andy Pazder, the Tour’s chief tournaments and competitions officer, said: “We are excited to bring the PGA Tour and our players to Lexington in 2018. 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 organisation 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.” 

The 2018 Barbasol Championship will feature a prize fund of $3.5m (€3m) and award 300 FedEx Cup points. The Tour said that hosting the tournament is expected to have an economic impact in excess of $20m on the local area.