Photo by Chris Cooper Numerous family, friends, former coach, and students came out to Rolling Hills Golf Course Friday to honor the late Phillip Hatchett.

Photo by Chris Cooper

Numerous family, friends, former coach, and students came out to Rolling Hills Golf Course Friday to honor the late Phillip Hatchett.

Gerald McPherson opened the ceremony honoring the late local golf great and extraordinary gentleman Phillip Hatchett Friday afternoon at Rolling Hills Golf Course.

"Hatch" or "Coach" as most referred to him at the event, passed away suddenly in June of last year after suffering injuries sustained from an unfortunate accident after a car struck his bicycle on Hopkinsville Road. He was the son of the late David Ellis and Edna E. Hatchett of Russellville.

A monument with Hatchett's portrait was unveiled at the driving range with his wife Beth and numerous family, friends, students, former coaches, and supporters looking on.

Hatchett was in his ninth season as the head coach of the Western Kentucky Hilltopper Golf program before losing his life. He was hired for the position in 2010. He was a 1985 graduate of Western Kentucky University and four-year member of the golf team.

While on the foreign PGA Tour from 1986-2000, Hatchett won nine tournaments, including three-straight Irving Cobb titles and back-to-back Quebec Open championships. He also captured the 1990 Vancouver Open crown and the 1992 Canadian Tournament Players Championship, as well as added five top-three finishes in various other foreign PGA Tour events.

Hatchett created the Phillip Hatchett Junior Golf Camp in 2008 in an effort to stimulate the game of golf among younger players in the south-central Kentucky area. The Phillip Hatchett Junior Golf Camp has seen over 200 young golfers in its existence.

This is not the first honor to hold Hatchett's name since his passing. The first of the year, Conference USA renamed its top men's golf coaching honor as the Phillip Hatchett Coach of the Year Award and Western's athletic department began the Phillip Hatchett Hilltopper Spirit Award.

During Friday's ceremony at Rolling Hills, Hatchett's hometown course, Jim Richards, Hatchett's former WKU coach spoke about his former student as being an outstanding golfer and more importantly an outstanding human being. His dedication to the game was remarkable.

Others spoke about Hatchett being a wonderful Christian example and a kind man to everyone he met.

Several of the current WKU Golf players were also at the ceremony, each speaking about "Coach Hatch" and what he meant to them. Some choked back tears as they told stories about their coach, friend, and mentor.

Along with a monument honoring Hatchett, there will now be a practice facility at Rolling Hills that holds his name and commemorates his legacy.