The success of the Kentucky men's golf team has been one of the feel-good stories at UK the last two years. A team that had been almost non-existent in major competitions for years suddenly became a Southeastern Conference and NCAA contender.
The Cats finished seventh last week in the NCAA Tournament despite not having
their best tournament. Georgia, a team UK beat in the SEC Tournament, won the
The Cats lose four seniors off this team, including No. 1 player John Holmes.
But from what I saw recently, Kentucky's golf team may not be ready to fade
away into the sunset the next few years.
Three members of Kentucky's golf team played in an invitational tournament in
Danville, Ky. While the competition was not like what the players will see at
the SEC level, the play of the three players made me realize just how talented
the Kentucky golf team is.
Junior Cale Barr won the tournament by shooting 66 two straight days. His
12-under par finish broke the tournament record set 20 years ago by four shots.
Andrew Stephens matched Barr's 66 the first day before shooting a 73 the next
day. Ben Fuqua, a redshirt freshman at Kentucky, had a 69 the opening round
before struggling the second day.
However, the three clearly proved that UK has a lot of talent on the team
considering that they could not make the postseason roster despite finishing a
combined 15-under par in their opening round of the tournament here.
"We really do have a lot of talent on our team," Barr said. "People are just
starting to realize that we have some good golfers at Kentucky. We are losing
some really good players, but I don't think Kentucky golf is going to just
fade away. We have a lot of players just waiting to make a name.
"Our golf program is good. We learned a lot from the seniors and they have
taken our program to a higher level. But now I truly believe we have the
talent to keep it there."
After watching Barr, Stephens and Fuqua play, don't expect me to argue. And
while the golf team will never get the recognition basketball or football
will, it's still nice to know that UK can be competitive on a national level
in more than just the big-name sports.
VAUGHT: UK golf, a feel good story
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