Jordan Blann Outlasts Younger Brother to Repeat as Kentucky State-Am Champion
June 10, 2010
RICHMOND, Ky. -- Former University of Kentucky men's golfer Jordan Blann, who was a senior on the 2009-10 team, used a birdie putt on the first playoff hole to hold off his younger brother and former Kentucky teammate Seth Blann and win his second consecutive Kentucky State Amateur Championship at the Gibson Bay Golf Course on Thursday.
Jordan Blann (68-67-71--206), who was one stroke off the lead heading into the final round, shot a 1-under-par 71 on the third and final day to force the playoff and eventually win the tournament crown. Jordan Blann opened the tournament with a 3-under-par 68 in the first round and a 4-under-par 67 in the second round to immediately put him in contention to repeat as champion. Jordan Blann finished the 54-hole tournament with a total score of 10-under-par 206.
"This really means a lot to me," Jordan Blann said. "Winning one was great but winning two is even sweeter."
Jordan Blann becomes the first person to win consecutive Kentucky State Amateur Championships since Eric Mason accomplished the task in 2000 and 2001. Including Jordan Blann and Mason, only three players can claim that honor since 1981 with the other being three-time champion Jimmy Brown. Not even recent UK greats J.B. Holmes and Steve Flesch won back-to-back titles at the Kentucky State Amateur, although both players have each won two titles.
"I don't think that it has been done in a while so that really means a lot to have my name in history," Jordan Blann said.
Jordan Blann played in all 11 events for UK in 2009-10 season, posting two top-10 finishes and five top-20 finishes. The native of Bowling Green, Ky., scored a season stroke average of 74.59 and carded the lowest round of the year by any Wildcat with his 5-under-par 66 at the UK Bluegrass Invitational in April.
"We were sitting at dinner Wednesday night together and Jordan kept talking about all the guys that he was going to have to beat to win and he never mentioned my name," Seth Blann said. "So I finally said, `Hey bud, if I get hot then you will need to worry about me because I will catch you guys' and I did."
In wind and rough conditions, Seth Blann shot an impressive 5-under-par 67 on the final day for the second lowest score of the final round. The Bowling Green, Ky., native, carded a brilliant 32 on the front nine to put himself in the race early and put pressure on the leaders.
"I tell you 67 out there on a day like today is a really tough score," Jordan Blann said. "He (Seth) was jawing at me Wednesday night at dinner about how he was going to come back and catch me and he did just that. I was proud of him a 67 is a really solid score."
Both players said that it felt weird having to play each other in the playoff although they had been playing golf with each other since a young age. The first and only playoff hole was the 18th and after Jordan Blann sank the birdie putt to end the championship he extended a hug to his brother.
"After I got the ball out of the hole we didn't shake hands because we hugged each other. I felt that was more appropriate," Jordan Blann said.
Kentucky was represented well all over the leaderboard with four players posting top-five finishes.
"It is unbelievable to have two brothers in a playoff for the Kentucky State Amateur Championship," UK men's golf head coach Brian Craig said. "I could not be prouder of Jordan and Seth. It is a shame that one of them had to lose but they are both champions as far as I am concerned."
On top of Jordan Blann finishing first and Seth Blann finishing second, 2009-10 senior Ben Fuqua (69-72-69--210) along with 2010-11 redshirt freshman Cody Martin (67-75-68--210) finished tied for fifth. Fuqua shot a 3-under-par 69 in the final round while Martin scored a 4-under-par 68. Alex Volpenhein (76-70-69--215), who will be a senior in the 2010-11 season and recently graduated senior Derek Oldham (70-79-71--220) each finished in the top 50 with Volpenhein ending the tournament tied for 21st and Oldham tied for 45th. Chase Carpenter (72-73-73--218), who was a sophomore in 2009-10, finished the tournament in a tie for 32nd.
Three UK Golfers Finish in Top Six at J.E. Butler Memorial in Danville, Ky.
Three University of Kentucky men's golfer, including 2009-10 senior Ben Fuqua, junior Brian Belden and freshman Joseph Barr posted strong showings at the 2010 J. E. Butler Memorial Golf Tournament at the Danville Country Club on June 5-6.
Barr lead the way for Kentucky, posting a two-day score of 145 to finish tied for third. A freshman from Versailles, Ky., posted a 71 to open the tournament and carded a 74 on the final day to post the top-three score. Barr, who finished fifth at the Firestone Invitational in 2010 for Kentucky, played in three events for UK last season, gathering a season stroke average of 76.22.
Belden and Fuqua each posted a two-day score of 146 to finish tied for fifth at the tournament. Belden scored a 71 in the opening round followed by a 75 to finish in the top five while Fuqua shot an impressive 68 in the opening round and a 78 in the final 18 holes.