How hard is it to win? Evan Davis found out at the Kentucky Open
- Golf House Kentucky photo
- Golf House Kentucky photo

Evan Davis played the tournament of his life at the 100th Kentucky Open. It was almost enough.

The Lexington, Ky. native is a rising junior at Belmont University, and finished second on the team last year with a 73.0 scoring average. He has had several top-10 finishes for the Bruins but no real breakout performances so far. Until this week.

At Kearney Hill Golf Links in Lexington, a well-respected course that once hosted the U.S. Public Links Championship, Davis shot rounds of 67-65-65 to go 19 under par. No one in the 100-year history of the tournament had ever gone lower.

For the tournament, Davis made 19 birdies and an eagle, with only one over-par hole (a double-bogey on the par-3 15th in the first round). His 50-footer for eagle on the 15th gave him the tournament lead with four holes to go.

On the 18th, he had a five-footer to win the tournament, only to see the putt slide by.

In a playoff with professional J.B. Williams of Danville, Ky., Davis birdied the par-5 18th but it was matched by Williams. On the second playoff hole, Williams again made birdie but this time Davis couldn't match him and the tournament was over.

Williams won the $10,000 first-place professional prize (which he had already locked up before the playoff started), while Davis had to settle for runner-up and low amateur.

How hard is it to win? Evan Davis went 20 under par for 56 holes, tied the 100-year tournament scoring record, birdied the first playoff hole, and still came up short.

And though he won't yet be able to put his name next to the likes of Byron Nelson, Gay Brewer Jr., Larry Gilbert, Jodie Mudd, and J.B Holmes as a Kentucky Open champion, Davis can surely be proud of his performance and rue his luck that there happened to be one guy out there who was just as good as he was at his best.

ABOUT THE Kentucky Open

54-hole stroke play event for professionals and amateurs who are residents of Kentucky and have an active Handicap Index at a Kentucky Golf Association Member Club. Qualifying is required for those who do not meet the exemption criteria.

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