KORN FERRY TOUR FINALS
Andrew Kozan’s 935-mile commute in pursuit of TOUR card
August 11, 2022
By Kevin Prise , PGATOUR.COM
- August 11, 2022
Andrew Kozan emerged victorious at the Utah Championship
ELKHORN, Neb. – Andrew Kozan enjoyed an extended victory lap after an unlikely victory at last week’s Utah Championship presented by Zions Bank.
Kozan and his wife Caylin made a 935-mile drive from Salt Lake City to Omaha for this week’s Pinnacle Bank Championship presented by Aetna, for an attempt at becoming the Korn Ferry Tour’s first multiple winner this season.
Having suffered a skid of 11 consecutive missed cuts into Utah, Kozan had been planning out his strategy for First Stage of Q-School. Now he’s chasing his first PGA TOUR card.
Kozan, 23, opened the Pinnacle Bank Championship in 4-under 67, a strong start at The Club at Indian Creek, a par-71 track measuring 7,721 yards. No player fared better than 66 in the morning wave.
“I had never met him until today, and what I just watched was pretty damn good golf,” said playing partner Paul Haley II, who stands No. 2 on the Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Eligibility Points List and has safely cemented a PGA TOUR return. “He hit the ball great, putted well, got up and down a bunch … I was impressed with his game for sure.”
After his string off 11 consecutive missed cuts, Kozan had fallen outside the top 150 on the standings. With just two events remaining in the Regular Season, his prospects of finishing top-75 to qualify for the Korn Ferry Tour Finals looked bleak, let alone having a chance at earning a place in Sunday afternoon’s TOUR card ceremony in Nebraska.
For a few months, Kozan struggled to bring all areas of the game together. Sometimes the driver might be off. Other times, the approach game, or chipping, or putting.
“Three of the four would be great,” Kozan said. “And the one that wasn’t there would cost me.”
It coalesced in Utah. Refreshed after a well-timed off-week where he barely touched a club, Kozan entered the final round at Oakridge CC in 13th place. He carded 8-under 63 and took the trophy with a one-stroke win over three players at 21 under.
Kozan fulfilled the various winner’s obligations in Utah, then hit the road with his wife. They stopped at a Hampton Inn somewhere in southern Wyoming, then slept from 1 a.m. until 7 a.m. They completed the remaining nine hours of the journey to Omaha on Monday.
“We drove ‘til we got tired,” explained Kozan. “We had a rental car the week before. Didn’t know if I was playing in this event until maybe Tuesday of last week; I wasn’t sure if I was going to be in (the field) or not. By then, by the time we looked for decent flights, it was a thousand bucks a ticket, so we might as well save two grand and drive over there. It wasn’t too bad. It was a cool, scenic drive.”
From uncertainty of whether he would qualify for the Pinnacle Bank Championship on his number, to a reasonable chance at a PGA TOUR card, Kozan has seen an appreciative quick turn in fortunes.
This week, the Florida native needs a two-way T3 at minimum for a chance at a TOUR card. The operative word, though: chance.
It’s all he could ask.
“It’s great, and it’s frustrating,” remarked Kozan of life in professional golf. “And that’s why we keep coming back.”