|John and Luke Muller. Provided.|
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Day two of the Kentucky Boys Junior Amateur began at 8:00 a.m. EDT and finished more than twelve hours later at 8:10 p.m. in what was one of the longest days of the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour season. But the day ended with the same man on top who was in front at the beginning of the day, as Luke Muller captured the Kentucky Boys Junior Amateur for his first individual win as a golfer.
A long-time basketball player who was a key part of Highlands winning the KHSAA State Basketball Championship earlier this spring, Muller proved himself as one of the best multi-sport athletes in the state during these two days at Nevel Meade Golf Club. With a total score of 135 (-9), Muller prevailed by two strokes over Matthew Troutman to score one of Kentucky Junior Golf’s most cherished trophies to get his maiden victory.
The day began with half the field finishing their first round following yesterday afternoon’s play being postponed by inclement weather. Once all players had completed their first round, Muller had been matched by Clay Pendergrass who also opened the tournament with 66 (-6). With no re-pairing done for the second round, it created a unique circumstance to close out the tournament with numerous players getting near the lead at various points of the round with drama surrounding lots of players’ finishing holes.
Matthew Troutman became the first player to put a number on the leaderboard that gave players something to shoot for. Rounds of 67-70 put the Louisville product in the clubhouse at 137 (-7) which for a long time, proved to be difficult to reach. It took more than three hours for someone else to reach -7 and that person ended up being Muller. A stretch of five birdies in seven holes put Muller ahead of Troutman, ultimately culminating in a two-stroke victory for the Fort Thomas native while Troutman finished as runner-up with Isaac Moody, Jackson Hill, Allan Lockwood, and Brady Smith finished in a tie for third-place.
“It feels good to get it done,” Muller said afterwards. “I came in here not knowing this course, but I knew I was playing well, so I just let it rip and ended up getting the win. I stayed out of trouble, made a couple of putts, and it felt like that was all there really was to it. Next Thursday I’ll be back here (at Nevel Meade) to try to qualify for the Kentucky Open, so hopefully I can keep up the good play here during that event too.”
The Boys 14 & Under Division also concluded on Wednesday which was dominated by Xander Tucker. Rounds of 70-67 gave Tucker a total score of 137 (-7), earning him a seven-stroke margin of victory over Bradford Lacefield.
NOTES & STATS
- Across each division, seventeen eagles were made during the tournament. The par-five 18th had the most with seven while all others were made on a par-five, except for one on the par-four 6th which came from Eli Fischer.
- The hardest hole of the tournament was the par-four 11th which had a stroke-to-par average of +0.67. It had the fewest birdies of any hole at Nevel Meade recorded on it with twelve.
- Number 18 was the easiest hole on the golf course by a significant margin, largely aided by those ten eagles. Its average finished at exactly even-par.
- The back nine played considerably harder than the front nine, with an average of 1.54 more strokes taken on holes 10-18.
- The tournament’s combined scoring average was 77.66.