COLUMBUS, OH – Graduating men's golfer John VanDerLaan won the 2018 Barbasol Shootout Saturday afternoon at Scioto Country Club, earning him an exemption into the PGA TOUR's Barbasol Championship later this summer. VanDerLaan became the first Division II golfer to ever win the title by shooting a three-under-par 67 to finish three shots ahead of the University of Oregon's Norman Xiong and Midland College's Callum Bruce.
The Barbasol Shootout is contested annually between the five Jack Nicklaus Player-of-the-Year award winners from across all levels of college golf. VanDerLaan was named the Division II winner earlier this week, while Xiong won the Division I award and Bruce was the junior college recipient. SM Lee of Dalton State, who placed fourth with a two-over-par 72, won the NAIA award, and Josh Gibson, who was fifth with a 75, represented NCAA Division III from Hope College.
VanDerLaan parred five of his first six holes Saturday, but a bogey on the par-four No. 5 had him one-over and tied for fourth with Midland's Bruce. At that point, six holes into the shootout, the lead belonged to Lee and Gibson, who were each one-under, while Oregon's Xiong was even after starting with six consecutive pars. The rest of the day, however, belonged to VanDerLaan, who was four-under over the final 12 holes.
VanDerLaan was the only golfer to birdie seven, and Xiong fell two shots behind him with bogeys on seven and eight, his only two of the day. All five golfers parred No. 9, a par-three covering 162 yards, which sent Lee through the turn at two-under and holding a one-shot lead over VanDerLaan and Gibson.
Three straight birdies on 10, 11, and 12 allowed VanDerLaan take command, as Lee birdied 11 and parred the other two, and Gibson bogeyed two of those holes to fall four shots off the pace. Gibson fell out of the running when his streak of bogeys hit four in a row. Meanwhile, a birdie by VanDerLaan on 16 increased his lead over Lee by three shots, Xiong by four, and Bruce by five. When Lee bogeyed 17, and the other three contenders all parred it, VanDerLaan's four-shot lead going into the final hole was more than enough to seal the win.
VanDerLaan ended up with five birdies in his round, just one more than Lee, but Lee also had four bogeys and one double-bogey that left him at +2, and five shots off the pace. Bruce and Xiong limited themselves to two bogeys, the same total as VanDerLaan, but they also had just two birdies, leaving them at even-par 70.
The Barbasol Championship will be held July 16-22 at Champions Course at Keene Trace in Lexington, Kentucky.