Jan. 9, 2013
Charlottesville, Va. -
Former Virginia men's golfer Ben Kohles will make his debut as a member of the PGATour this week at the Sony Open. The 72-hole event is the first full tournament on the PGATour's 2013 schedule. It will take place at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu with a purse of $5.6 million at stake.
In addition to Kohles, former Cavalier great Steve Marino will be in the field. Marino has won nearly $9 million as a professional. He was limited to playing in just six tournaments in 2012 due to a knee injury.
Kohles will tee off Thursday at 9 a.m. HT during the first round and be paired with Paul Haney II and Hideki Matsuyama. That same group is scheduled to start Friday's second round at 1:30 p.m.
Marino is paired with Sang-Moo Bae and Bud Cauley. They start the first round at noon and tee off the second day at 7:30 a.m.
Kohles earned his PGATour card within several months of graduating from Virginia last May. He won his first two Web.com tournaments and managed to finish in the top-10 on the earnings list despite starting just 10 tournaments. Kohles won the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational on July 29 in Columbus, Ohio in his professional debut. He followed that up the next weekend with a victory at the Cox Classic in Omaha, Neb.
Later in the season he was fifth at the Mylan Classic and made the cut in eight of the 10 tournaments he played. He received a sponsor's exemption to play in the 2012 Wyndham Championship in Greensboro in August.
Kohles was a three-time All-American at Virginia and was named the ACC Player of the Year in 2010 and 2011. He won seven tournaments during his collegiate career and set the UVa scoring record with an 18-under 198 at The Schenkel in Statesboro, Ga., in 2012.
As a collegiate, Kohles played in Hawaii once, winning the 2011 Burns Intercollegiate.
Joining Kohles and Marino on the 2013 PGATour is former Cavalier James Driscoll. He has earned $4.5 million as a professional and placed in the top 125 on the winnings list in 2012 to earn his tour card for 2013.
The Golf Channel will broadcast all four rounds of the Sony Open.
It's coverage schedule is:
Thursday: 7-10:30 p.m. ET, 11 p.m. - 2:30 a.m.
Friday: 7-10:30 p.m. ET, 11 p.m. - 2:30 a.m.
Saturday: 7-10:30 p.m. ET, 11 p.m. - 2:30 a.m.
Sunday: 7-10 p.m. ET