T.J. Auclair is a Senior Interactive Producer for PGA.com and has covered professional golf since 1998, traveling to over 60 major championships. You can follow him on Twitter, @tjauclair.
Walk-off ace earns golfer spot in PGA Tour event
You've heard of the walk-off homer in baseball, but how about a walk-off ace in golf?
Rare, yes. But it has happened. Paul Casey did it during a Saturday foursome match in the 2006 Ryder Cup at the K Club in Ireland. Jonathan Byrd won the 2010 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open with a walk-off ace on the fourth playoff hole (see video below).
Now you can add Case Cochran to that elite company.
Cochran aced the fifth hole of a playoff at a Monday qualifier -- which spilled into Tuesday -- to earn the final spot in this week's HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Cochran, son of former PGA Tour winner and five-time Champions Tour winner Russ Cochran, was part of a four-way playoff for the final three spots in the Irving, Texas, PGA Tour event after shooting a 69 in the qualifier.
With two of the three spots snagged by Jason Allred and Chris Thompson, Cochran was left to battle Chris Parra for the final spot.
On the fifth playoff hole -- a 152-yard par 3 -- Cochran earned his ticket for a first-ever PGA Tour start thanks to a 7-iron that found the bottom of the cup.
"He told me he didn't see it go in," said Russ Cochran, according to a report by GolfChannel.com's Jason Sobel. "Once he got on the green, he saw his ball mark six feet from the hole and had a good feeling. Sure enough, it was in the hole.
"He's super excited. He's been playing well on the Adams Tour and I knew he was feeling good about his game. It will be his first PGA Tour event and he's pumped up."
Late Tuesday night, Case Cochran sent out this tweet:
— Case Cochran (@casecochran) May 14, 2014
And he also sent out this tweet, which is pretty self-explanatory:
Case Cochran will play the first two rounds of the HP Byron Nelson Championship alongside Miguel Angel Carballo and Bronson La'Cassie. They tee off at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Oh, and in case you don't remember it, here's Byrd's walk-off in Vegas:
Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.