The PGA Tour continues on this week as it visits Keene Trace Golf Club for the 2023 Barbasol Championship. The Arthur Hills design will play as a Par 72, 7,328 yard layout this week as it hosts this event for the fifth time. An event being co-sanctioned by both the PGA Tour and the DP World Tour and being held opposite the Scottish Open, this event gives many players the opportunity to break through for their first career victory. Last year’s edition was won by Trey Mullinax, who birdied the final hole to beat Kevin Streelman by one stroke and pick up his maiden PGA Tour victory.
Player to Fade:
The epitome of a journeyman player, J. J. Henry has not found any success this season, missing the cut in all 3 events he has teed it up in. Henry’s T-15 finish here in 2018 is his only top 50 finish in 4 starts since the event moved from Alabama to Kentucky in 2018. At 48 years old, Henry’s best playing days are behind him, even in an event with an extremely weak field. Henry will most certainly not be a factor this week and will miss the cut.
The 278th ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking, Matti Schmid has had a pretty down year, with just 1 top 10 and 6 made cuts in 20 starts. However, there’s room for hope, as Schmid finished T-8 in this event a year ago. Schmid is one of the long ball hitters on tour, ranking 4th in Driving Distance, averaging 315.9 yards per drive off the tee. Distance is always an advantage on tour, and if Schmid can get literally any other facet of his game to work this week, he will bring home his second top 25 finish of the campaign.
Taylor Pendrith has been having a quiet, although not necessarily successful season on tour, with 1 top 10, 4 top 25’s, and 7 missed cuts in 23 starts. Pendrith has some momentum heading into this week, as he is fresh off of a T-14 finish at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. More importantly, Pendrith knows a thing or two about finding success in this event, finishing in the top 15 in both of his previous starts here. He may not be at his best right now, but we predict Pendrith will rely on some good mojo from his past trips to the Barbasol Championshipand bring home his first top 10 finish in this event.
There may not be anyone in the field walking taller than Peter Kuest this week, as he just received Special Temporary Membership on the PGA Tour due to his recent success, with 3 top 20 finishes in 5 starts this season, highlighted by a T-4 finish at the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Kuest has the stats that most golfers can only dream of: averaging 328.3 yards off the tee, hitting over 74% of his greens in regulation, and averaging .623 Strokes Gained: Putting per round. Kuest may have limited starts on the tour, but don’t let that fool you, as he has the ability to compete with the best. Perhaps a long shot shot this week or perhaps a favorite, depending on who you ask, we predict that Peter Kuest will pick up his first career PGA Tour victory at the Barbasol Championship!