It was a week of firsts for the Champions Tour,
most importantly for lefty Russ Cochran, who won
his first Champions Tour title on Sunday.
The 51-year-old Cochran closed with a 6-under
66 to catch second-round leader Fred Funk (68) at
12-under 204 after 54 holes at the Jack Nicklaus
Golf Club Korea. The Kentuckian then got it up and
down for birdie from a greenside bunker on the
first playoff hole to earn $456,000.
Surprisingly, for the talented but oft-injured
Cochran, it was only his second victory in his
lengthy PGA Tour career. His other win came at
the 1991 Western Open.
“I’ve been playing well over the last year,
year-and-a-half and I felt like a victory was in the
near future,” said Cochran, who was out of golf
for about six years with wrist and elbow problems
that required surgery.
“I’m back playing and my game’s a little bit
different, but it’s pretty solid,” he said. “I’m hoping
I can take this and go (on) to more victories on the
Funk began the day with a two-stroke lead. He
had a chance to win in regulation, but missed a
three-foot birdie putt on the par- 5 18th.
Spaniard Alvaro Velasco secured his second
Challenge Tour title of the season and with it a
return to the European Tour at the Kazakhstan
Open on Sunday.
Velasco closed 65-69 to finish at 21-under par
at Zhailjau Golf Resort in Almaty, Kazakhstan. He
won by five shots over Italian Federico Colombo,
Scotland’s Scott Jamieson and Argentina’s Julio
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