NEWBURGH, Ind. (WEHT) — Thursday marks the beginning of the final Korn Ferry Tour Championship event at Victoria National Golf Club before it’s relocation to French lick next season.
As always, the players are looking forward to the difficulties the course brings, including Spencer Levin, the 46th ranked golfer in this week’s tournament.
“It’s a little more challenging than some we’ve played,” Levin said. “You’re definitely going to have to hit it straight this week. It’s not going to be a putting contest this week because you’re going to have to hit your ball where you’re looking.”
This year around 75 golfers will tee off Thursday without the worry of missing the cut. In past years, there were upwards of 150, meaning the cut line would take half and send the other portion home. During that time, each shot required precision accuracy to have a chance at playing golf on a Saturday or Sunday. Now, with less competitors and no cut line, that fear is gone but it does not mean you can lose focus on a course as difficult as Victoria National.
“There’s a big difference to being a good shot and not a good shot here because it’s the difference between being in the fairway or possibly hit a foul ball in the hay and the hazards right and left here which makes it hard,” Levin said.
Victoria national is familiar to many Korn Ferry players as it has been the site of the championship rounds for well over a decade. But some have stronger ties to days before their golfer status went pro. Former Maryland golfer and 51st ranked player in the field, David Kocher, thinks his past successes could prove to bring future advantages.
“[When the] Big Ten was here I think it was like 2015 and 2016, I had two top five finishes,” Kocher said. “So I played well at this place. It fits my eye really well.”
It is always important to have past experience on a course this challenging. But it is just as important to appreciate all that comes with it. Especially when past experience is met with confidence before reaching the first tee.
“I feel good overall about my game and I love the course,” Kocher said. “It’s in great shape and it seems like it’s going to be a little cold this weekend. But overall just, you know, I can’t say enough about the course and how good it is.”
Tee times for all four rounds of the Korn Ferry Tour Championship will begin at 7:30 a.m. CDT.