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12D AGO

The First Look: ISCO Championship

4 Min Read

The First Look

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    Written by Adam Stanley @Adam_Stanley

    This week’s ISCO Championship, co-sanctioned with the DP World Tour for the third time, is being contested in Kentucky for the sixth straight year.

    With an eclectic mix of up-and-coming stars competing against PGA TOUR winners and Ryder Cup champions – and crucial FedExCup points on offer – it’s set to be another exciting week in the Bluegrass State.

    Here’s everything else you need to know.

    FIELD NOTES: PGA TOUR University’s reigning No. 1 Michael Thorbjornsen is back in action on TOUR after finishing T2 at the John Deere Classic Sunday – in just his third professional start … Roughly 50 DP World Tour pros will compete in Kentucky, as this is once again a co-sanctioned event … Fan favorites and TOUR winners Joel Dahmen and Kevin Kisner are in action… Other notable TOUR winners in the field include Daniel Berger, J.J. Spaun, Ryan Brehm and Camilo VillegasC.T. Pan is set to tee it up after earning a spot at The Open via his finish at the John Deere Classic and an Official World Golf Ranking tiebreaker. Pan, who finished T2 at TPC Deere Run, stood well ahead of his fellow second-place finishers (Thorbjornsen and amateur Luke Clanton) on the world ranking.

    SPONSOR EXEMPTIONS: Luke Clanton is back in action on the PGA TOUR after a tremendous back-to-back stretch. Clanton followed a T10 finish at the Rocket Mortgage Classic with a runner-up at last week’s John Deere Classic, becoming the first amateur to record back-to-back top-10s on TOUR since 1958. Clanton is a rising junior at Florida State University and now holds nine PGA TOUR University Accelerated points – chasing the 20 cumulative points needed to collect automatic PGA TOUR membership following the next academic year. Given his recent play, the amateur is the betting favorite this week … Kentucky native John Marshall Butler, an Auburn alum, will make his PGA TOUR debut. Butler, who had a celebrated amateur career, finished T5 at PGA TOUR Americas’ The Beachlands Victoria Open presented by Times Colonist to start his professional career last month. Butler was part of Auburn’s 2024 NCAA Championship-winning squad (with Jackson Koivun), a team that captured 10 collegiate wins… University of Kentucky alum Alex Goff will make his PGA TOUR debut. The 2020 Kentucky Amateur champion made the All-SEC Second Team for 2023-24 and was the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year thanks to leading the team with a 70.55 scoring average – the program’s best in 30 years … Another University of Kentucky alum (and Louisville native), Cooper Musselman is back in action on TOUR. He finished 119th on last year’s Korn Ferry Tour Points List and will be teeing it up at the ISCO Championship for the third time … Stephen Stallings Jr. returns to his home-state TOUR event. Stallings, who had a tremendous career as a high school golfer and was named captain of the University of Kentucky golf team while there, has played 12 TOUR events. He’s teed it up twice on the Korn Ferry Tour this season … Neal Shipley tees it up for the fifth time on TOUR this season, and for the third time after finishing as low amateur at both the Masters and the U.S. Open. Shipley finished T20 at the Rocket Mortgage Classic but missed the cut at the John Deere Classic … Major champion Jason Dufner and TOUR winner Adam Long round out the sponsor exemptions.

    COMCAST BUSINESS TOUR TOP 10 UPDATES: After last week’s John Deere Classic, each of the players in the TOUR TOP 10 retained their exact spots … Last season’s Genesis Scottish Open winner, Rory McIlroy, stands No. 3, a substantial 3,323 points behind Scottie Scheffler’s leading total. Xander Schauffele remains at No. 2… Byeong Hun An continues to be the only player inside the TOUR TOP 10 each week so far in 2024.

    FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 300 FedExCup points

    COURSE: Keene Trace Golf Club (Champions), 7,328 yards, par 72. This is the sixth year the 1987 Arthur Hills layout will host the PGA TOUR. Keene Trace is one of the top-ranked courses in Kentucky, located just south of Lexington, and is laid out through the rolling hills of the state. Big greens and plenty of bunkers are the signature features of Keene Trace, while the par-4 closer is a dramatic 18th built around the edge of a lake.

    72-HOLE RECORD: 262, Jim Herman (2019)

    18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Kelly Kraft (Round 3, 2019)

    LAST TIME: Rookie Vincent Norrman defeated Nathan Kimsey on the first hole of a playoff to win his first PGA TOUR title. Norrman blew his drive left in regulation on the 72nd hole and needed to scramble just to save bogey – which he did from 7 feet – to get into the playoff with Kimsey, who had posted Sunday’s low round. Kimsey missed a 15-footer for par that would have sent the playoff to a second extra hole. Trevor Cone led by one heading into the final round and was firmly in the mix late Sunday until a double bogey on No. 16 derailed his chances at Keene Trace. He finished tied for third alongside Adrien Saddier, while Lucas Glover finished fifth, his third straight top-10 result.

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