While all eyes were on the Bridgestone Championship, Ben Kohles wrote himself into the history books by winning his second tournament in his second start.
He’s undefeated as a professional after two. Twelve other players won their first Tour starts, but Kohles topped that by winning his first professional start of any kind. Winning a second likely is a record that won’t be beaten. He won his first at last week’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational in Columbus, Ohio. With these wins, he’s secured a 2013 Tour card from the Web.Com Tour money list. Another win and he’ll get the battlefield promotion for an immediate Tour card.
Kohles, 22, is a former University of Virginia player. He won five times while at Virginia and was a two-time All American. That All-American status is what got him the invitation to play at the Nationwide Invitational.
Kohles is one of seven players to win consecutive events. None of these won their first two.
In 1994, Daniel Chopra won his first two starts on the Buy.Com (then Nationwide) Tour. Chopra was a member of the PGA Tour that year, and was playing the Buy.Com Tour events as a substitute for events where he was not eligible.
Kevin Stadler held the previous Web.Com Tour record for quickest to win twice. He won two of his first four. However, his first start came in the 2002 season and then he didn’t play again until the summer of 2004 when he won his first start that year and then won again two starts later.
Tommy Armour III 1994 Miami Valley Open and Cleveland Open
Jerry Haas 1994 Tri-Cities Open and Sonoma County Open
Chris Smith 1997 Dakota Dunes Open and Omaha Classic
Pat Bates 2001 Shreveport Open and Tour Championship
Jason Gore 2005 National Mining Association Pete Dye Classic, Scholarship America Showdown
Ben Kohles 2012 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational and Cox Classic
Thirteen players have managed to win their first Web.Com starts: Mike Springer (1990), Buddy Gardner (1990), Ted Tryba (1990), Lindy Miller (1990), PH Horgan (1991), Gary McCord (1991), Angel Franco (1993), Stuart Appleby (1995), Gavin Coles (2002), Chris Nallen (2004), Kyle Reifers (2006), Miguel Carballo (2007), and now Ben Kohles (2012).
Winning in your first start in the golf’s minors doesn’t generally translate into big Tour success, as you can see.