Best bets for the Barbasol Championship

July 11, 2023 03:49 PM

Barbasol Championship

Like this week’s Genesis Scottish Open, the Barbasol Championship is a co-sanctioned event between the PGA Tour and DP World Tour.

Canadian Taylor Pendrith (18-1) is the tournament favorite, and he has finished 11th and 13th in the last two years in this event.

Lucas Glover (22-1) finished T-4 in Detroit two weeks ago and T-6 last week at the John Deere Classic.

With a T-4 in Detroit and a T-17 last week at the John Deere, Peter Kuest (25-1) earned Special Temporary Membership for the remainder of the PGA Tour season. Special Temporary Members who earn equivalent non-member FedEx Cup points to No. 125 on the season-long standings, through the FedEx Cup Fall, will earn full PGA Tour membership in 2024.

Players following on the odds board include Vincent Norrman (28-1), last year's Barbasol runner-up Kevin Streelman (30-1), Akshay Bhatia (33-1), who also has Special Temporary Membership, Cameron Champ (40-1), Carl Yuan (40-1), MJ Daffue (40-1) and Niklas Norgaard (40-1).

The Event

The Barbasol Championship debuted in 2015 as an alternate event to the British Open. The first three editions of the tournament were played at the Grand National course of the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Opelika, Ala., northeast of Auburn, before moving to its present home — the Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, just south of Lexington, Ky.

Like other alternate events, the winner of the Barbasol Championship does not earn an invitation to the Masters, and point values are limited due to the weaker field (24 OWGR points and 300 FedEx Cup points compared with 100 OWGR points and 600 FedEx points for British Open winners). However, the winner still receives a two-year PGA Tour exemption and a trip to the PGA Championship, plus a likely spot in the FedEx Cup top 70.

The leading non-exempt golfer also receives a spot in the British Open next week.

The Course

The Champion Course at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky., plays host this week to the Barbasol Championship and has done so since 2018. The track was originally designed in 1987 by Arthur Hills and was made over in 2016 by J. Drew Rogers. It plays as a par-72 of 7,328 yards and is a relatively easy track for these professionals with 21 under, 23 under, 25 under and 26 under in the last three editions of this tournament. There is a large lake in play at the conclusion of both nines; however, this course is gettable. The Bentgrass fairways are undulating but very generous and players will be hitting into large (6,000 square feet) and receptive Bentgrass greens that roll at 11 on the stimpmeter.

Hot and humid weather conditions allow the ball to fly long distances, and this tournament is often played with soft turf and receptive green conditions. It’s a recipe for a good old-fashioned PGA Tour birdie-fest.

Recent History

2022: Trey Mullinax (-25/263); 150-1

2021: Seamus Power (-21/267); 16-1*

2020: No tournament (COVID-19)

2019: Jim Herman (-26/262); 500-1

2018: Troy Merritt (-23/265); 55-1

​Playoff win over J.T. Poston - *

Trends and Angles

​The three winners of the Barbasol since it has been held at Keene Trace have ranked first (Mullinax, 2022), eighth (Power, 2021), first (Herman, 2019) and fifth (Merritt, 2018) for Greens In Regulation during their winning weeks.

The three winners of the Barbasol at Keene Trace have ranked eighth (Mullinax, 2022), fifth (Power, 2021), first (Herman, 2019) and third (Merritt, 2018) for Scrambling during their winning weeks.

All three winners of the Barbasol at Keene Trace ranked 18th or better for Strokes Gained: Off-The-Tee and 17th or better for Strokes Gained: Approach during their winning weeks.


Vincent Norrman (25-1, DraftKings)

The long-bombing Swede ranks second for Greens In Regulation in this week's field.

Grayson Murray (55-1, PointsBet)

Murray is 12th on the Korn Ferry Tour points list and is a cinch to get his PGA Tour card back already and was T-6 last week at the John Deere.

Ryo Hisatsune (65-1, Circa Sports)

Hisatsune is a DP World Tour rookie and already has recorded four top-10s this season.

Ryan Gerard (80-1, Bet Rivers)

Gerard has his Special Temporary Membership on the PGA Tour courtesy of making nine of 12 cuts but could become a full-time member with a strong finish this week.

Trevor Cone (150-1, Circa Sports)

Cone ranks inside the top 10 in driving distance and top 15 in strokes gai

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