Murray State’s Patrick Newcomb claimed his second straight Kentucky State Amateur Championship Thursday in the 101st playing of the event at the Cardinal Club in Simpsonville, Ky.
Newcomb, from Benton, Ky., and a senior this fall for the Racers, carded scores of 68-67-71 for a 206 total (7-under-par) and produced a four-shot win. He was 2-under through the first eight holes in the final round before hitting a stretch of four holes with three bogeys. Newcomb recovered and made a birdie at the par-5 13th before making pars all the way home.
“This felt different this year because I had been through this before,” Said Newcomb who won his first Kentucky Am in 2011 at Kearney Hills in Lexington. “At the start I was thinking I was going to cruise. I was 9-under through 7. Then played no. 9 great, but had a three putt. It was a grind after that to keep it at even par for the day. I kept plodding along and hit a great shot from 250 yards out and made birdie on 13 and got in from there.”
“This may take a little bit to sink in,” Newcomb added. “I was thinking about that right after we finished. It was really exciting but I’m really beat up. The Cardinal Club really puts the pressure on you and you have to make good shots to score there.”
Murray State Head Men’s Golf Coach Eddie Hunt praised Newcomb’s steady play.
“Patrick just played great golf all three days and made very few mistakes,” Hunt said. “It’s quite an honor to win the state’s biggest amateur event and represent Murray State among the best players in Kentucky and now he’s done it back to back years. It just shows what kind of player he is.”
Newcomb is only the second winner of the event from Murray State joining Chris Wilson of Mayfield, Ky., who won in 1992. Newcomb also joins a list of 13 who have won it back-to-back or more. The last to win two straight was Jordan Bland (2009, 2010).
Newcomb is now on the list of Kentucky State Am champions that dates back to 1911. He joins great players including: Bobby Nichols (1957), Frank Beard (1961, 1962), Brad Fabel (1974), Jodie Mudd (1979, 1980), Ted Schulz (1983), Steve Flesch (1986, 1988) and J.B. Holmes (2004) who have claimed the title. The Kentucky State Am has been held each year, with the exception of suspension of play from 1942-1945 due to World War II.
Hunter York, also a senior in the fall at MSU and from Hardin, Ky., carded scores of 78-72-71=221 and finished 34th.
“I was very pleased with how Hunter York battled back from the first round,” Hunt added. “Hunter had to fight to make the cut and then was right there at the end. When you take a look at the pair of seniors we have in Hunter and Patrick, we’re in good shape in the fall and spring with those two anchoring our team.”
Two former Racers also played in the final round. Chris Griffin (Paducah, Ky.) current assistant coach with the MSU women’s golf program had scores of 76-71-75=222 to place 40th. 2006 MSU Golf graduate Kyle Shirley (Scottsville, Ky.) placed 44th with scores of 74-71-78=223.
Ryan McCann (Crestwood, Ky.) was the runner-up with scores of 71-69-70=210.
The Cardinal Club played to a par of 71 this week and 7,000 yards.