PROSPECT, Ky. – If there’s anything to be learned from the 2017-18 Kentucky men’s golf season, it’s that the players have a flare for the dramatic ending en route to capturing wins. Junior-to-be Fadhli Soetarso made sure that trend continued into the summer months when he claimed the 104th Kentucky State Amateur on Thursday at the Hunting Creek Country Club in Prospect, Kentucky.
Soetarso, playing in the final group of the day, sank a 40-foot putt to force a playoff and earn a chance to win the individual championship. With that shot, momentum was clearly on his side.
A par on the first hole of the playoff was all the Jakarta, Indonesia, native would need en route to the victory.
Soetarso was the epitome of a steady performer with 1-under-par 71s during each of the three rounds. During Tuesday’s opening round, he finished birdie-birdie-par-par over the final four holes to get into contention. A birdie on the 17th ensured an under-par score on day two and a lead into the clubhouse leading into the final day of play.
Thursday’s round saw him begin the day with a birdie on the fifth before a setback on the ninth put him back at even par with nine holes to play. He quickly moved his score into red numbers with a birdie on the par-four 13th. That birdie coupled with the 40-foot par putt on the 18th were the highlights of his winning round.
Soetarso has appeared in seven events during his UK career. He finished fifth in an individual tournament in Puerto Rico during his sophomore campaign, while shooting a career-low 73.67 over six rounds last season.
UK’s junior winner was joined by Kentucky teammates Allen Hamilton and Matt Liston in the final group. Fred Allen Meyer, who finished third, was just one group in front of the final group.
Meyer boasted a 3-under-par 69 to move into third place on the final day of play. He had six combined birdies during the round, including three over the final nine holes.
Hamilton tied for fourth, while Liston placed eighth. Hamilton and Liston both enjoyed prolific second rounds. Liston fired a team-low 67, while Hamilton shot a 68. Both players carded four birdies on the back nine during round two.
Former Wildcat Evan Cox placed 11th and enjoyed an even-par 72 on the final day of action to put five players with ties to the program among the top 15 finishers.
Last year’s winner of the state amateur was former UK standout Chip McDaniel who broke a 13-year scoring record. The previous scoring record was held by UK Athletics Hall of Famer, PGA Tour member and former Wildcat All-American J.B. Holmes.