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‘It stings’: Ben Kohles ends Nelson hopes with flubbed chip, closing bogey

Written by on May 6, 2024

Ben Kohles was trying his best to see the silver lining, but he still couldn’t hide the pain.

“Of course it stings, right?” Kohles said. “You feel like you had it right there and let it slip away.”

Kohles had just birdied back-to-back holes Sunday at the CJ Cup Byron Nelson when he stepped on the tee box at TPC Craig Ranch’s par-5 18th hole with a one-shot lead over Taylor Pendrith. Two shots later, Kohles found himself with a tricky lie in the rough, between two bunkers and short of the green.

Kohles caught his first chip heavy, and his ball didn’t come close to reaching the green, instead burying in a worse lie just outside the closest bunker to the hole.

“It was sitting up a little bit, but honestly hadn’t seen any rough like that all week,” Kohles said. “Yeah, just didn’t hit a great shot. Just needed a little bit more umph on it. I kind of maybe de-celled a little bit. … Honestly, after that first chip, I was in a pretty screwed spot.”

From there, Kohles failed to get up and down, missing a 5-footer for par that would’ve forced a playoff with Pendrith, who birdied the hole. Kohles’ closing bogey was the only score worse than par on No. 18 all round (66 players).

“[The par putt] lacked probably a little bit of speed, and I probably needed to start it right center instead of playing it straight,” Kohles said. “… I feel like I hit a good putt, so I’m not going to hold my head on that and just take all the positives and see what we can do next week.”

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