EAST LOTHIAN, Scotland – After an impressive spring semester with the University of Kentucky men’s golf team, rising senior Ben Stow continued his strong play on Tuesday when he posted a 2-under-par score in a 36-hole local final qualifier at Gullane Golf Club in East Lothian, Scotland, punching his ticket to the 2013 The Open Championship. Stow becomes the first Kentucky player to ever qualify for The Open Championship while still a member of UK’s golf team.
The Open Championship, which is one of four major tournaments on the Professional Golf Association Tour, will be July 18-21 at the historic Muirfield Golf Club in Scotland. According to The Open Championship website, Muirfield is widely regarded as one of the finest golf courses in the world and will be hosting the championship for the 16th time.
The native of Salisbury, England, is one of three players to qualify for the major tournament out of the Gullane Golf Club qualifier. Stow, who was the top finisher in the qualifier that featured 72 players, including longtime PGA Tour professional Colin Montgomerie, posted a 1-over-par 72 in his opening round before an impressive 3-under-par 68 in his final round to seal a spot in The Open Championship. Stow’s stellar round of 68 tied the lowest round of day as the UK star carded an eagle on the par-5 third hole and three birdies in the final 18 holes.
"Ben is one of the most talented and dedicated young men I have ever been around,” said UK head coach Brian Craig. “It is great to see the fruits of his labor pay off with him qualifying into the British Open. What a year to get into The Open as well with it being played at historic Muirfield Golf Club in Scotland. This will be a phenomenal experience for Ben and I could not be prouder of him."
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.