Kocher rallies for playoff win at El Bosque Mexico Championship by INNOVA
March 01, 2020
By Sean Wildhack, PGATOUR.COM
- March 01, 2020
- Kocher grabbed his first Korn Ferry Tour victory in a playoff in Mexico. (Eduardo Sanchez/PGATOUR.COM)
LEON, GTO, Mexico — David Kocher survived a three-man playoff to claim his first Korn Ferry Tour title at the El Bosque Mexico Championship by INNOVA. Kocher defeated Paul Barjon and Chad Ramey on the first playoff hole to capture the title. The 23-year-old finished the week at 12-under 276 at El Bosque Country Club.
“I’m really happy I got it done today,” Kocher said. “I’m just really happy to get it done and get my first Korn Ferry Tour win.”
Kocher, who began the day five strokes off the lead, climbed the leaderboard with four birdies on his first eight holes. The University of Maryland product stumbled with back-to-back bogeys on Nos. 9 and 10 and fell to 11-under for the week.
Despite the setback entering the back nine, Kocher made six pars and a birdie over his next seven holes to get back to 12-under. Ramey, whose birdie putt at the last burned the edge, had posted the clubhouse lead at 12-under as Kocher made his way through the back nine.
“I missed a short putt on No. 9 and got really unlucky on No. 10,” Kocher said. “I had to battle back and made a really good putt on No. 15 and realized I was right in this tournament.”
Entering the 72nd hole at 12-under and tied for the lead with Ramey and Barjon, Kocher hit his second shot over the green into a hazard on the par-5 18th. His playing partner, Barjon, reached the green in two and had two putts for the win.
After a drop from the hazard, Kocher hit his difficult fourth shot 12-feet past the hole and had a quick putt to save par. Unphased, he drilled the center of the cup to join Ramey in the clubhouse at 12-under. Barjon went on to miss his birdie putt and finished tied with Kocher and Ramey.
“I honestly don’t know what happened,” Kocher said of his second shot into No. 18. “I was just pumped to make the putt. I didn’t know if I would be in a playoff or not, but it was a great way to end my round.”
The players returned to the par-5 18th for the first playoff hole. Kocher, who hit the right center of the fairway off the tee, stuck his second shot to the middle of the green. Ramey found the water off the tee and hit his third shot into the greenside bunker. Barjon, who hit the left center of the fairway, hit his approach shot short into a hazard before the green.
Kocher had two putts to take home the title after both Barjon and Ramey failed to make birdie. He calmly lagged his eagle attempt 3-feet past the hole and drained his birdie putt for the win.
With the victory, Kocher moved to No. 3 in The 25 and is one step closer to earning a PGA TOUR card.
“It feels so good,” Kocher said. “I know it’s a huge deal to get a win out here and it gets you really close (to the PGA TOUR). If I play well the rest of the year, hopefully I can be on the next stage.”
Dylan Wu, Matt Atkins and Mito Pereira finished T4 at 11-under 277.