Sophomore Brown shines in first PGA event
LEXINGTON — Appearing in his first-ever PGA event, sophomore Kentucky men’s golfer Cullan Brown provided the Blue and White faithful with quite a show shooting 10-under par for the tournament and logging par-or-better scores during all four rounds at the Barbasol Championship held at the local Keene Trace Course in Nicholasville. Former Wildcats Stephen Stallings and Chip McDaniel also carded under-par scores during the local PGA event.
Brown had rounds of 72-68-67-71 to finish at 10-under par and a tie for 53rd on the leaderboard. On moving day, Brown posted his best round of the tournament which featured seven total birdies. That included a stretch where he birdied five-consecutive holes beginning at the par-four fourth.
Brown was an All-SEC Freshman Team selection after producing a 72.42 stroke average over eight events in his first collegiate season. He missed the fall slate due to a wrist injury, but appeared in every event during the spring campaign. He made seven starts for the Cats, including the SEC Championship and the NCAA Athens Regional appearance.
The Eddyville native garnered four top-20 finishes. He tied for fifth at the Mason Rudolph where he tallied an opening round of 64 which is tied for the lowest 18-hole score in the Brian Craig era. His 54-hole total of 206 tied for the best mark of the season.
In his first career postseason event, he tied for ninth at the SEC Championship during stroke play. He fired rounds of 67-69-72 to help lead UK to a third-place showing in stroke play and advance to the semifinals of match play for the first time in program history. He registered 10 par-or-better rounds throughout this freshman season.
Stallings was UK’s top finisher at 11-under par and concluded the tournament in a tie for 45th. Stallings charted rounds of 70-68-69-70. His second-round 68 featured four birdies and he played flawlessly with no bogeys on the day.
Stallings appeared in 35 events for the Wildcats and had a career-low scoring average of 73.50 during his senior campaign. He was a part of an NCAA Tournament team and two NCAA Regional squads. His best finish came in the form of a tie for seventh at the Bearcat Invitational with a combined 214 score. His career-low round in college was a 65 during his junior campaign.
McDaniel posted a finish of 68th at 8-under for the week. He carded scores of 71-67-72-71 and joined both Stallings and Brown in having par-or-better rounds during all four rounds. His second-round 67 featured five birdies and a bogey-free day.
McDaniel played 133 collegiate rounds with a 72.00 stroke average. His senior season was highlighted by a victory at the Bearcat Invitational where he fired a career-low 54-hole total of 201. That marked the second-lowest score in the Brian Craig era. He matched that total at the Gary Koch Invitational where he helped UK win its fourth event of the season in a runner-up individual finish.
He’s appeared in seven PGA events since graduating from Kentucky. His best finish was a tie for fifth at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship with a career-low final round of 63 to move into the top 10. He appeared in his first major championship last month at the US Open at Pebble Beach.
Jim Herman edged out Kelly Kraft by one stroke to take the $3.5 million purse. Herman scored a 26-under par combined score to win the event.