FRANKLIN, Tenn. – After three days full of heat at Vanderbilt Legends Club, Johan Kok, PGA secured his fourth victory at the 52nd Tennessee PGA Professional Championship.
Although it almost broke one hundred degrees during play, round one brought an exciting match. Fairways & Greens Professionals Braxton Hunter, PGA and Walt Chapman, PGA finished the day tied for the lead. Hunter scored five birdies and an eagle while Chapman finished with five birdies to complete the round at four-under, 67. Just behind them at three-under, 68, Bobby Cochran, PGA of Colonial Country Club also finished with five birdies and an eagle to put him in the third place spot. There was a four way tie for fourth place between Nashboro Golf Club Professional Jeff Page, PGA, Heatherhurst Golf Course Professional Adam Forgey, PGA, Fox Den Country Club Professional Jake Reeves, PGA, and Profectus Golf Professional Josh Bevell, PGA at two-under, 69.
The weather was significantly better in round two which put the competitors in high spirits. Hunter continued to play with consistency scoring five birdies and no bogeys which gave him a daily score of five-under, 66. He finished the day at the top spot with an overall score of nine-under, 133. Troubadour Golf & Field Club Professional and three time past champion Johan Kok climbed the boards shooting an impressive six birdies to move from being tied for eleventh place to being tied for second with an overall score of four-under, 138. Forgey kept his spot on the leaderboard finishing with another two-under-par daily score to bring him tied for second place overall as well. Bevell stayed in fourth place with a round two score of one-under, 70, and an overall score of three-under, 139. A three way tie broke out for fifth place between Reeves, Chapman, and Belle Meade Country Club Professional Oliver Peacock at two-under, 140.
Round three of the tournament brought a weather delay for just over an hour in the late afternoon. Kok and Hunter went neck and neck for the whole day until Kok pulled ahead with three birdies in a row on the 13th, 14th, and 15th hole and eight birdies total to take his fourth Tennessee PGA Professional Championship victory. Kok finished the tournament with an overall score of eleven-under, 202.
Kok claims he was not putting very well during round one and sought help from Vanderbilt Legends Club Professional Joe Hallett, PGA, “Joe gave me a small tip on the greens and it seemed to have worked.” Kok said, “I play a lot of golf out here at Legends, I’m good friends with a lot of the guys who work here so I know my way around it and managed it today.”
“Braxton is one of my good friends and one of the better players in the state, he doesn’t make many mistakes. Luckily I made a bunch of putts and felt it in the turn.” Kok commented, “To get four was a big goal of mine. This one means the most.”
Hunter finished the day as the runner up with three birdies and an overall score of seven-under, 206. Forgey pulled out four birdies in the round and finished in third place with an overall score of five-under, 208. There was a tie between Memphis National Professional Brian Wood, PGA and Cherokee Country Club Professional Andrew Bateman, PGA for the remaining spot to advance to the 2021 PGA Professional Championship at three-under, 210. The pair played a sudden death playoff contest on the par-five 18th hole where Wood sunk a forty-five foot putt to seal the deal. Bateman was named the first alternate for the Tennessee PGA. Harpeth Valley Golf Center Professional Bill Breen, PGA and Reeves also tied at two-under, 211 where another sudden death playoff was contested to see who would be the second and third alternate. Reeves finished a stroke ahead and was named the second alternate. Jackson National Golf Club Professional Marshall Talkington, PGA finished at one-under, 212 and was named the fourth alternate.
This year, the top four Professionals will advance on to the 2021 PGA Professional Championship at PGA Golf Club on April 25-28, 2021. Good luck to Johan Kok, PGA, Braxton Hunter, PGA, Adam Forgey, PGA, and Brian Wood, PGA at the National Championship.
Thank you to Tony Madera, PGA, Micah Hicks, PGA, Kass Kovalcheck, PGA, and the entire Vanderbilt Legends Club staff for hosting this year’s championship.
The Tennessee PGA would also like to thank our Presenting Sponsors Tim Keller, PGA and Russ Lord from Club Car. We would also like to thank Keith Harville, PGA and Will Loggins from Titleist, Chris Long from Footjoy, Deron Lorio from TaylorMade, and Ainsley Keller from Nike for supporting the Tennessee PGA Professional Championship. This tournament could not have been possible without our generous partners. We would also like to thank George Jones from Premier Golf Services and Robb Spencer from Maui Jim for being gracious local sponsors of the tournament.