It is no secret that athletes with Kentucky ties are doing big things professionally. Our basketball team has had 15 guys drafted into the NBA in recent years and Randall Cobb and Stevie Johnson are experiencing great success in the National Football League. Former UK golfer J.B. Holmes and UK fan Josh Teater have both secured their tour cards for the 2013 PGA Tour season. Everyone knows about those things.
But I wanted to give you a glimpse at a few more guys with UK ties that are working their way up in the golf world. As you might have read last week, I spent the week in Lakeland, FL caddying in the first stage of PGA Tour Qualifying school. Three guys with UK ties (1 alum & 2 fans) made it through the first stage and there are a few more guys set to play in first stage this week.
The following guys made it through first stage and will find out where they play second stage on October 30th.
Brandon Brown: Brandon is a big UK fan. He grew up in Shelbyville and attended Northern Kentucky University for two years before transferring to Eastern Kentucky University. Brandon has had great success on the mini tours and was recently named 2012 NGA Tour Player of the Year. He had 2 starts on the
Nationwide Web.Com Tour this season.
Last week, Brandon shot 69-66-66-67 for a 20-under total and tied for first.
Mark Blakefield: Mark is a former UK golfer. He played at Kentucky from 2001-2005. He is from Maysville, KY. Mark has also enjoyed success on the NGA Tour with multiple victories in his career. Fun fact: Mark’s caddy is a professional billiards player.
Last week, Mark shot 63-74-68-70 for a 13-under total and finished alone in 16th place.
Kent Bulle: Kent is a big UK fan as well. He grew up in Glasgow, KY and played golf for Middle Tennessee State University. He also played on the NGA Tour this past season. Despite having me as a caddy, Kent shot rounds of 66-69-67-72 for a 14-under total and a tie for 10th.
While Brown, Blakefield, and Bulle have all advanced, there are more UK guys set to play this week. Former UK golfers Andy Winings and Ben Fuqua are set to tee it up at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, GA Wednesday through Saturday.
Congratulations to Brandon, Mark, and Kent and to good luck this week to Andy and Ben. It’s like I’ve always said, “You can never have too many UK fans on the PGA Tour.” Let’s start turning the PGA Tour blue.