The Barbasol Championship returns to the PGA Tour schedule this week after it was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s everything you need to know about the sixth edition of the event, including course information, players to watch and TV times.
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Jim Herman shot 26-under-par 262 when this event was last held in 2019 to defeat his American compatriot Kelly Kraft by one shot.
COURSE: The Arthur Hills-designed Champions course at Keene Trace Golf Club, located in Kentucky on a former horse farm, opened in 1987 and has hosted this event since 2018. The 6,701-metre par-72 layout – which previously hosted the NCAA Championship (1993) and US Senior Amateur (1994) – typically yields low winning scores and saw last year’s runner-up Kelly Kraft shoot 11-under 61 in the third round.
PLAYERS TO WATCH …
South African Charl Schwartzel is set to miss The Open for the third consecutive year and will make his first start since finishing T19th at the US Open last month.
The 2011 Masters champion is back inside the top 100 in the world rankings (99th) for the first time since March of 2019 and has posted five top-30s – including his T3rd at the AT&T Byron Nelson in May – from his seven most recent starts.
Schwartzel, 36, has never played the Barbasol Championship and he is based in Florida when he’s living in the United States, so his knowledge of Keene Trace is likely to be fairly limited given it’s nearly 1,000 miles away. Nevertheless, he deserves to be seen as one of the favourites this week.
RIGHT: Jim Herman won this event in 2019 to claim his second (of three) PGA Tour titles. PHOTO: Andy Lyons/Getty Images.
Former champion Aaron Baddeley won this event in 2016 on the Lake Course at Grand National and returns to Keene Trace for the first time since missing the cut in 2018.
The American-born Australian isn’t enjoying his strongest season – having missed six cuts from 15 starts across the PGA and Korn Ferry Tours – however he appears to have rediscovered his deadly putting stroke and is currently ranked fifth on the PGA Tour for his overall putting average (1.563 putts per hole).
Baddeley, 40, has slipped to 536th in the world rankings. But the four-time PGA Tour winner knows what it takes to get the job done – and he should be seen as one of the stronger chances this week against this relatively weaker field.
72-HOLE RECORD: Defending champ Jim Herman’s 26-under-par 262 surpassed the 72-hole scoring record previously held by Troy Merritt, who won with 23-under 265 in 2018.
PAST AUSSIE WINNERS: Aaron Baddeley (2016).
AUSTRALIANS IN THE FIELD: Aaron Baddeley, Greg Chalmers, Rhein Gibson, Mark Hensby, Cameron Percy and John Senden.
Round 1: Friday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 7am – 9:30am)
Round 2: Saturday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 7am – 9:30am)
Round 3: Sunday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 6am – 9am)
Round 4: Monday (Fox Sports 503 LIVE 6am – 9am)
*AEST, check local guides