Kohles wins in 1st tour start

Ben Kohles birdied two of the last three holes of regulation to force a playoff, then birdied the first extra hole Sunday to win the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational.

Kohles closed with a 1-under 70 to end at 12-under-par 272. He was joined there by Luke Guthrie, who shot 5-under 66 to get in first at minus-12.

In the playoff, Kohles poured in a 22-foot birdie effort on the first extra hole to become the 13th player to win in his first Tour start.

"It's absolutely a dream come true," said Kohles, who was making his first professional start. "What more can you ask for in your first pro event than to win? It's still a bit of shock and I'm not sure it's all sunk in yet."

Guthrie, who was making his first Tour start of the season, had missed a 25-footer for birdie on No. 18, which served as the playoff hole.

"There are a lot of good college players out there and a lot of good college programs," Guthrie stated. "When we get out here we relish the moment. It's our chance to play well and show what we've got."

Cliff Kresge (69) and Casey Wittenberg (68) shared third place at minus-11 at The OSU Golf Club.

Kevin Foley matched Guthrie for the low round of the day. Foley's 66 helped him jump from a share of 15th into fifth place. Aaron Watkins was one stroke further back at 9-under-par 275.

Kohles started the final round with a 2-shot lead, but he fell two back after bogeys at five and six.

Wittenberg grabbed the lead late in the round with a birdie on the 16th, but he bogeyed the next to cost himself a spot in the playoff.

NOTES: Kohles earned $144,000 for the victory and joined the likes of Gary McCord and Stuart Appleby as those that won in their first tour start...Unlike the other 12 that won in their first tour start, this was Kohles' first professional start of any kind...Guthrie has played three PGA Tour events this year after turning professional following the NCAA Championship...The tour is in Nebraska next week for the Cox Classic, where J.J. Killeen won last year.