Chip McDaniel Finishes in Top Five, Cards 63 in PGA Event
PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic – Former Kentucky men’s golfer Chip McDaniel surged 28 spots on the leaderboard behind a 9-under round of 63 on Sunday at the PGA Tour’s Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship.
McDaniel’s Sunday surge was the best on the course as was the 9-under round. It’s the first top-five professional finish of his career and he takes home more than $100,000 in earnings from the performance.
McDaniel’s tournament scorecard featured rounds of 72-67-71-63 for a 273 total and 15-under par for the tournament. PGA veteran Graeme McDowell was the tournament’s winner at 18-under par.
The Manchester, Kentucky, native made his PGA pro debut at the local Barbasol event last summer. In August, he won his first professional tournament at the Governor’s Open at Juniper Hill in Frankfort, Kentucky.
Sunday’s round began with a birdie on the opening hole before giving the stroke back with a bogey on the par-three second. That one mistake was his only misstep. He birdied the par-five fourth and then finished the front nine with back-to-back-to-back birdies to get to 4-under at the turn. McDaniel wasn’t done yet. He had birdies on the 10th, 11th and 12th marking six-consecutive holes with a birdie. He then birdied the par-four 15th and the par-three 17th to push his score to 9-under for the day.
McDaniel qualified for the PGA event by being a co-medalist at the Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship Monday Qualifier in Miami two weeks ago. Former teammate Evan Cox served as his caddy.
The top-10 finish enabled him to automatically qualify for the Valero Texas Open next week.
He 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 helped lead the Wildcats to an NCAA Championship appearance twice during this tenure, including a Regional appearance over his final three seasons.
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