LEXINGTON, Ky. (7/22/13) – University of Kentucky men’s golf senior Ben Stow carded four birdies in the second round, including three on the final nine holes, finishing day two of The Open Championship at 6-over-par to complete his first career appearance in the historic tournament in a tie for 108th at 11-over-par on Friday at Muirfield.
Stow did not make the cut to the third round, but did finish better than some of the best golfers in the world, including Rory McIlroy, who is ranked No. 2 in the World Golf Rankings. Stow had the third-best finish among the seven amateurs that qualified for the event.
"Ben did great at Muirfield,” UK head coach Brian Craig said. “He had too many double bogeys that ultimately cost him making the cut, but he can hold his head high for how he played. I am also sure that playing in The Open will help Ben immensely in terms of experience and growth. I can't wait for him to get back for his senior year and lead this team both on and off the course."
Stow, who was in the 28th tee grouping on Friday along with Sweden Robert Karlsson and American Todd Hamilton, who won The Open Championship in 2002, was 5-over-par heading to the ninth tee box before an impressive birdie took him to 4-over-par at the turn Friday. Stow started the back nine with two pars and a birdie to get back in contention of making the cut before windy conditions settled in making the course very challenging. Stow still posted three birdies on the back nine, including a birdie on his final hole to finish 11-over-par for the championship.
Stow posted a 5-over-par 76 in the first round on Thursday after a fast start with a birdie at the par-3 third hole surrounded by five pars to sit 1-over-par through his first six holes of the tournament. Stow would end the first round with a 5-over-par 76 to sit in a tie for 92nd heading into Friday’s action.
The Open Championship, which is one of four major tournaments in the golf calendar year, is being played at historic Muirfield golf course in Scotland. Muirfield is widely regarded as one of the finest golf courses in the world and is hosting the championship for the 16th time.
Stow made it into the tournament after winning a 72-player local final qualifying at Gullane Golf Club earlier this month. The native of Salisbury, England, carded a 2-under-par 140 at the 36-hole qualifier to seal his spot in The Open Championship, including a tournament low 3-under-par 68 in the second round to take over the lead.
Stow, who joined the Wildcats in the spring of 2013 after sitting out the fall semester due to transfer rules, competed in all eight spring tournaments for Kentucky, earning Division I PING Midwest All-Region honors. Stow made his debut with the Wildcats in the Mobile Intercollegiate, finishing tied for 27th, while his best finish on the year came in the Schenkel Invitational, where he finished tied for ninth at 1-under-par. Stow's best round of the season came at the Gary Koch Invitational when he carded a 4-under-par 68 en route to a career-low 54-hole score of 215. Stow also posted a 54-hole score of 215 at the Southeastern Conference Championships. The talented golfer finished first or second on the UK team in six of his eight events in the spring, leading the Wildcats in the spring with a stroke average of 73.92.
Information provided by Wes Crane (UK Athletics)
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