June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Local golf: Bob Koch left speechless

COLUMBUS — It’s been over 24 hours and Bob Koch is still in a bit of shock over what he did Thursday at Wedgewood Golf and Country Club.

The Medina resident recorded one of the biggest accomplishments of his golf career by qualifying for next month’s USGA Senior Open.

“Actually, I can’t describe it to tell you the truth,” Koch said. “It’s just a wonderful thing. It’s hard to put into words. It’s just a nice, nice thing.”

Indeed it is. Koch bounced back from an early bogey and battled the humid conditions on the Powell course to fire a 5-under-par 67 to finish in a tie for second place.

More importantly, it earned the 52-year-old a spot to compete alongside the likes of Tom Watson and Freddie Couples at the U.S. Senior Open at Indianwood Golf and Country Club in Lake Orion, Mich., July 9-15.

“Just everything went pretty well,” Koch said of his day at Wedgewood. “I played it two years ago and shot a 74. It’s the type of course where if you get behind, you can’t make it up.”
That wasn’t a concern on Thursday as Koch was never worse than 1-over.

He was even through the first two holes before bogeying the par-4, 377-yard No. 12 after being forced to three-putt.

It was his only stumble on the day. Koch later went on to eagle the par-5, 493-yard 14th hole and finished his day making par on 12 of 18 holes. He registered four birdies –– three of which came on his final five holes to finish at 34 and 33, respectively.

“I played very consistent and only had one hole where I risked bogeying,” Koch said. “Every hole I was hitting the green and had some nice putting.”

As for the heat, the conditions were so bad Koch had to seek out cool spots during his round.

“That’s the first time I really felt like I was going to pass out on a golf course since I was young,” Koch admitted. “I started on the backside and would stand in the shade. I just did whatever I could to survive.”

Koch’s steady play might have a lot to do with what was in his bag. While Koch is best-known as the creator of Medicus, the county native’s company has developed a new brand called Kick X Golf –– which includes everything from clubs to balls, which he used during his memorable day.

And although Koch will now be playing on one of the sport’s biggest stages, he’s not going to be satisfied with getting there.

“Oh, we’re already starting to get prepared and I want to get there early,” said Koch, whose three sons have been standout golfers at Medina High. “I know those greens are going to be fast, so I want to work out anything I need to ahead of time.”

Contact Dan Brown at sports@medina-gazette.com.