Musselman Shoots 2-Under Par on Opening Day of Barbasol
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Both former Kentucky men’s golfers began their professional careers with a birdie on the opening hole they played at the Barbasol Championship on Thursday.
Cooper Musselman and Chip McDaniel, who are making their debuts thanks to an exemption for the local tournament, had positive starts to the next phase of their careers.
Musselman finished his round at 2-under par and is tied for 59th on the leaderboard through the opening 18 holes. The Louisville, Kentucky, native played at even par over the course of his first nine holes which began for him on the par-four 10th. He went into the turn with back-to-back birdies to earn some momentum. The highlight of his round came at the par-five second where he scored an eagle. A birdie on the par-five sixth pushed his round to 2-under and he would play the final three holes at even par for a spectacular opening day.
McDaniel notched a 2-over par, 74, for the day. His round included three birdies and an eagle on the par-five 17th.
The tournament carries a purse of $3.5 million and will award 300 FedEx Cup points to the champion. The field includes notable PGA Tour winners: Stuart Appleby, Chad Campbell, Harris English, Billy Horschel, Davis Love III and Hunter Mahan.
Keene Trace is no stranger to hosting major tournaments. Designed by world-renowned golf architect Arthur Hills, it has hosted the USGA Senior Amateur, the NCAA Championship, the men’s and women’s Southeastern Conference Championship, the Women’s Western Open, the Kentucky Open and the state amateur.
McDaniel and Musselman helped lead the Wildcats to an NCAA Championship appearance twice during their tenure, including a Regional appearance in each of the last three seasons. They combined for nearly 100 career starts, 130 par-or-better rounds, 25 top-10 finishes and 45 top-20 finishes.
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.
Musselman shot a career average of 72.91 over 129 rounds. He led the Wildcats his senior season in stroke average (72.08), par-or-better rounds (21) and top-10 finishes (4). An individual win at the Crooked Stick Intercollegiate marked a season high for Musselman. He also carded career-low rounds (67) and 54-hole tournament scores (207).
For the latest on the Kentucky men’s golf team, follow @UKMensGolf on Twitter and on the web at UKathletics.com.