LOUISVILLE — The field is set for the PowerBilt Kentucky Open.
The prestigious event will be held Aug. 2-4, at Persimmon Ridge Golf Club. The three-day event features 150 golfers, including seven past champions.
Past champions Andy Roberts (2010), Trey Bowling (2008), Cale Barr (2005), Grant Sturgeon, PGA (2002), Keith Ohr, PGA (2001), Chris Osborne, PGA (1995) and Ralph Landrum, PGA (1987) are among the players participating in the field.
Winchester’s Clay Ballard made the cut for the event after shooting a 71 during a qualifying round on July 13 at the Shelbyville Country Club.
There are numerous players to watch, but no clear-cut favorite.
Roberts, an amateur from Owensboro and the defending champion, is hoping to become the first back-to-back winner since J.B. Holmes accomplished the feat in 2003-04. He also won the 2010 KGA Mid-Amateur Championship and earned 2010 KGA Player of the Year honors. Roberts is a CPA and member of Owensboro Country Club.
Sturgeon, winner of the Kentucky Open in 2002, when it was last held at Persimmon Ridge Golf Club, also is a favorite. In 2009, he made the cut at the PGA Championship at Hazeltine, Minn. Currently, he is an Assistant Professional at Hurstbourne Country Club and an alumnus of the University of Louisville golf team. He’s originally from Cave City.
Ohr is another past champion and a former U of L golfer who returns to this year’s Open after being named the “KPGA Larry Gilbert Player of the Year” for the past three years in a row. Ohr played in last year’s PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, Wis., and is the Head Professional at Wildwood County Club in Louisville.
Jordan Blann, a recent University of Kentucky graduate, is returning this year to the Open. He was the winner of the 2009 and 2010 Kentucky State Amateur Championship and is currently playing various mini tours.
Lake Watts, PGA, originally from New Albany, Ind., is the reigning Kentucky PGA Champion. He is an Assistant Professional at Audubon Country Club in Louisville and a 2006 graduate of Louisville.
Jared Wolfe, a recent Murray State graduate, is currently playing on the NGA Hooters Tour and won an event on the tour earlier this year.
Top-ranked Division III player and national champion Chris Morris just finished his senior year at Centre College and is ready to compete at a new level.
“It’s always a great tournament, and it brings out the best in Kentucky golfers – some of whom go on to make headlines on the PGA Tour,” says Larry Edlin, president of PowerBilt. “We’re proud to put our name on this event which year-in and year-out proves to be the most prestigious tournament in the state.”
Family-owned by the Louisville-based Hillerich & Bradsby Co., PowerBilt is one of Kentucky’s great heritage brands, which has been making golf clubs since 1916. PowerBilt clubs have been used to win more than 100 PGA Tour events, including eight Majors. Its involvement with the Kentucky Open began in the 1930s.