Kentuckian gets into PGA field with ace in qualifier playoff

May 13, 2014 

Case Cochran

Case Cochran made a hole-in-one on the fifth playoff hole Tuesday in a qualifying tournament to earn the final spot in the PGA Tour's Byron Nelson Championship this weekend in Irving, Texas. Cochran, Kentucky's Mr. Golf in 2005 while at St. Mary High School in Paducah, turned professional about a year ago after graduating from Texas A&M. He is No. 4 on the Adams Pro Tour's money list after finishing runner-up twice this season.

The qualifier finished Tuesday after weather suspended the previous day's play. Cochran had missed a birdie putt from less than 6 feet on the hole before his ace.

"I was frustrated but at the same time, I said let's just hit a good one here," said Coch ran, the son of former University of Kentucky golfer Russ Cochran, who now stars on the Champions Tour.

Case Cochran used a 7-iron from 152 yards to ace the hole and get into his first career PGA Tour event.

The tour's website reported that when Case Cochran played the 16th hole Monday with the wind at his back, he hit a 9-iron to 4 feet. He grabbed a 7-iron Tuesday because the hole was playing dead into the wind and uphill.

"I punched it under the wind and it looked like it landed in front of pin," he said, "but we couldn't see it. There were about 15 people on the tee watching us and that's it. On the green, there was no reaction because there was nobody there.

"As I walking up, I'm still in grind mode thinking about making a good stroke and a good putt. I walk up and there's no ball and a ball mark five feet in front of the hole."

Cochran said he's trying to follow in his dad's footsteps.

"He's the whole reason I'm in golf," Cochran said. "It's nice that we can help each other out. He's still playing in his career and golf is something we talk about every day."

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