January 8 2013
Russ Cochran will make his 599th career PGA TOUR start this week at Waialae. (Shamus/Getty Images)
By Michael Curet, PGATOUR.COM Contributing Writer
Danny Lee fired a 7-under 65 to earn medalist honors in the Sony Open Monday qualifier held at Turtle Bay Palmer Course in Kahuku, Hawaii.
Russ Cochran (67), Steven Alker (69) and Josh Persons (70) also earned their way into this week's Sony Open field. Persons earned the final spot by beating out three other players in a playoff.
Lee, a 22-year-old native of Seoul, South Korea, won the U.S. Amateur in 2008 at Pinehurst and followed that up by winning the Johnnie Walker Classic on the European Tour in 2009.
Last season, Lee's best finish came on the Web.com Tour with a runner-up finish at the WNB Golf Classic.
The 54-year-old Cochran has been playing exclusively on the Champions Tour, where he has three career wins – including the Senior British Open Championship in 2011. The University of Kentucky graduate and former member of the PGA TOUR captured the Western Open over two decades ago in 1991.
Cochran posted six top-10s on the Champions Tour in 2012.
Alker, a 41-year-old New Zealander, who posted a top 20 finish at the 2012 Open Championship (T19) at Royal Lytham St. Anne, owns two career Web.com victories (the 2002 Louisiana Chitimacha Open and 2009 HSBC New Zealand PGA Championship).
Persons is playing his first PGA TOUR event and made the cut in all three Web.com Tour appearances in 2012 – including a T8 at the Neediest Kids Championship where he also gained entry as a Monday qualifier.
The 28-year-old of Fargo, N.D. native and former golfer at Kansas State has spent most of his professional career on the mini-tours.