Snowman in July

One tough hole - an eight, on No. 17 at Kearney Hill - was mostly responsible for Georgetown's Billy Tom Sargent shooting 75 in his pro debut Tuesday at the Kentucky Open. 

Thunderstorms and challenging, ever-changing conditions created a mixed bag Tuesday for the five Georgetown golfers entered in the centennial edition of the Kentucky Open.

This year’s edition of the time-honored state championship is being played close to home at Kearney Hill Golf Links, just an iron shot or two off Georgetown Road in Lexington.

Jeremy Martin took advantage of an early tee time in the opening round of the 54-hole event. The local pro shot 4-under 68 and was three strokes off the lead at press time with Wednesday’s second round still to come.

The opening session was eventually suspended due to heavy rain and lightning that hit the area around 4 p.m. and lingered through the early evening.

Another local standout, recent Scott County High School graduate Brody Webb, carded even par 72 in his initial round. The Morehead State University freshman forged a front-nine 33 to put himself near the top of the leader board for a spell.

Making his professional debut after a stellar career at SCHS and  Western Kentucky University, Billy Tom Sargent was undone by a quadruple bogey on the 17th hole and wound up with a first-round 75.

Georegtown amateurs Justin Warman and Eddie Preston finished with 73 and 74, respectively.

Warman was the only golfer of the five to have started his second round at press time. He was even for the day through five holes, with a birdie offsetting a bogey.

The tournament is scheduled to conclude Thursday.

Zach Smith, an amateur from Mount Sterling, led the pack after the elongated day one with a 7-under 65.

Martin was right on his heels after a sizzling round that included six birdies, at holes No. 3, 6, 7, 10, 17 and 18. His only bogeys were at No. 1 and No. 14.

Webb made birdie on four of the first eight holes to put himself in contention. He bounced back from a double-bogey at 17 with a birdie at 18 to level his card.

Sargent also struggled at the next-to-last hole on the back nine, making an eight. It soured his round of five birdies — 3, 7, 8, 14 and 16. The recent NCAA top-15 finisher also had a double bogey at 6.

Past winners of the event include Scott County product Ashton Van Horne (2016), golf legend Byron Nelson, and PGA Tour winners J.B. Holmes, Jodie Mudd, Ted Schulz and Steve Flesch.

Kal Oakes can be reached via email at

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