Ben Kohles makes 222-yard ace at Korn Ferry Tour Finals opener
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The two-time winner this season eyes Three-Victory Promotion to PGA TOUR
Written by Staff @KornFerryTour
BOISE, Idaho – Ben Kohles made a 222-yard ace on the par-3 eighth hole Friday at Hillcrest Country Club in the second round of the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Chevron, the first of four Korn Ferry Tour Finals events.
Fittingly, it was Kohles' eighth lifetime hole-in-one, and it propelled him to a second-round, 9-under 62. He's 14 under into the weekend, set to chase his third Korn Ferry Tour win of the season this weekend. That would bring a Three-Victory Promotion to the PGA TOUR.
"I had out 5-iron; was just gonna land it, take my 20-footer up the hill, and I was like, 'It's not really gonna get there.'" Kohles said of his ace. "I talked to my caddie Brian, decided to take a little bit off the 4(-iron), and I was just aiming a little right of it. Pulled it a couple yards, and it was tracking the whole way. It rolled in like a putt; it was pretty sweet."
Kohles, No. 1 on the season-long standings, held the lead through Friday's morning wave in Boise, one stroke clear of Carter Jenkins and Cristobal Del Solar. The automatic promotion would allow him to compete on TOUR during the FedExCup Fall.
Kohles opened in 5-under 66 at Hillcrest CC; the hole-in-one moved him to 4 under on the second round. He added a birdie at No. 11 and then rattled off four consecutive birdies on Nos. 14-17 to ascend to the top of the leaderboard.
"I've been here many, many years," said Kohles, who is making his ninth start in Boise. "I've played this course a ton, so I feel like I definitely have a little bit of an advantage ... I've hit every club off every tee, so I just go with whatever I'm grooved in with now."
Kohles has notched eight top-25s in 19 events this season, including victories at the Astara Chile Classic and HomeTown Lenders Championship, en route to cementing a PGA TOUR return for 2024. Kohles, 33, began the Korn Ferry Tour Finals with 1,548 points this season, a 51-point advantage over No. 2 Rico Hoey.
The season-long Points leader, finalized after the four-event Korn Ferry Tour Finals, will earn fully exempt TOUR status in 2024 and spots in next year’s U.S. Open and THE PLAYERS Championship. (Korn Ferry Tour Finals events feature elevated points: 600 to the winner, compared to 500 in a standard event.)
It's plenty to play for, and Kohles is rising to the occasion so far in Boise.
"Nice little bonus ball to go in like that," Kohles said of his ace. "First Playoffs event ... that's where I want to be."