Charlotte native David Kocher birdied the second hole of a sudden-death playoff Thursday to win the GPro Tour’s sixth Mimosa Challenge at Morganton’s Mimosa Hills Golf Club, claiming the event title for a second time.
The tour’s annual fall event at Mimosa was canceled last year amid the pandemic.
Kocher, who also won the tournament in 2018, started the final round three strokes off the lead but caught up as overnight Charlie Huntzinger of Buford, Ga., and first-round leader Chris Crawford of Bensalem, Pa., struggled in the day’s final pairing, with rounds of 71 and 74 respectively.
Kocher shot 4-under 66 on Thursday — the third and 12th holes at Mimosa played as par 4s rather than par 5s per usual for the tour this week — after rounds of 66 on Tuesday and 64 on Wednesday to end the 54-hole event at 14-under. He made birdies at Nos. 7, 9, 10, 14 and 16 before bogeying the 18th hole.
William Walker III of Tuscaloosa, Ala., also started the day at 10-under and also shot 66 in a wild final round. He led the field with eight birdies on the day, including four in the final five holes, but also made two bogeys and a double bogey.
The last of Walker’s birdies came on the 18th hole and was good enough to join Kocher in the playoff. After both made par at No. 18 to start the playoff, Kocher bettered Walker by one shot the second time playing the hole in sudden death.
Kocher played collegiately at Maryland and won the Korn Ferry Tour’s El Bosque Mexico Championship by INNOVA in early 2020. He collected $10,000 with Thursday’s victory.
Ryan Elmore of Dunwoody, Ga., and Chase Knox Alpharetta, Ga., both finished one shot out of the playoff after both carding rounds of 65 Thursday.