Ben Kohles - July 31, 2012


On Sunday, University of Virginia Graduate Ben Kohles became the first player in Tour history to win in his professional debut when he won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational. Kohles knew that he would be making his professional debut in Columbus after the Porter Cup once he got the call that he was in the field. He had previously planned to play the U.S. Amateur but he did not want to pass up this opportunity. Before winning, he had planned to try to Monday qualify for Tour events and play on the eGolf Pro Tour before PGA TOUR Q-School but obviously and fortunately those plans are changing.

Facing down Luke Guthrie, he tried to stay in the moment and just do what came naturally to him because otherwise the pressure would have probably overwhelmed him a bit. As a result, he was able to hit a great shot at just the right time.

His teacher is Todd Anderson at Sea Island and he has been able to meet a number of Sea Island residents who play on the PGA TOUR including Davis Love III, Zach Johnson, and Jonathan Byrd. Everyone he has met in Sea Island has been so nice and he always enjoys going there to work on his game with Anderson.

Among the collegiate players his age who have turned pro or are still in college, there are so many talented players including Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, and Luke Guthrie who he ended up defeating in the playoff on the Scarlet Course.

The reaction from his friends has been overwhelming since he won on Sunday as he received countless phone calls, texts, and messages on Twitter and Facebook. One of the best things about his victory is the fact that one of his closest friends was his caddie. Kohles knows that now that he has won, he will no longer need a carry bag and expects to start using a tour player’s golf bag in the near future.