J.T. Poston rides strong ball-striking, soft greens to one-shot lead at Barbasol Championship

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The greens at Keene Trace Golf Club, site of this week’s Barbasol Championship, just seem to fit J.T. Poston’s eye. As a result, Poston, whose lone Tour win came at the 2019 Wyndham Championship, has a one-shot lead entering the weekend in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

“They’re a lot like what I grew up on in Hickory, North Carolina,” Poston said. “They’re bent, like you said, and they’re about the same speed as what I’m probably used to when I was a kid. Just kind of brings back some good memories of putting on that putting green growing up. It just feels normal to me. Don’t feel like I have to hit it too far, I’ve just got a good feel for the speed right now.”

Conditions are soft at Keene Trace after multiple rain storms during the first round. Combine those soft conditions with what Poston called his best ball-striking in months, and it’s no wonder he has put together rounds of 65-66 to start the event.

Ryan Armour and Joseph Bramlett, at 12 under, trail Poston by a shot.

Poston is now in his fifth year on Tour and when asked Friday to reflect on the start of his career, the putter was a theme. It has carried him through times when he felt his ball-striking was not as strong.

Scores have been low so far and the cut fell at 4 under. Poston didn’t make a bogey on Friday and made just one on Thursday. He’ll need to keep that kind of pace to stay ahead of the field on the weekend.

“I’m going to kind of approach it like I have the last two days and see if I can – I don’t even know if I’m going to be leading by the end of the day, somebody might still catch me,” he said. “If I’m leading, I’m going to try and extend that lead to as many as I can, just try to put myself in as good of position I can the last nine holes.”

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