|Full name||Gary D. Koch|
|Born||November 21, 1952|
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||170 lb (77 kg; 12 st)|
|College||University of Florida|
|Current tour(s)||Champions Tour|
|Former tour(s)||PGA Tour|
|Number of wins by tour|
|Best results in major championships|
|Masters Tournament||T16: 1985, 1986|
|PGA Championship||T10: 1979|
|U.S. Open||T6: 1982|
|The Open Championship||T4: 1988|
Koch was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1952, and raised in Florida. He won the Florida Open in 1969 as an amateur at the age of 16. He won the U.S. Junior Amateur in 1970. He attended C. Leon King High School in Tampa, Florida. The 1969 King High golf team consisting of Koch, Eddie Pearce, Brian Hawke and Phil Reid won the Florida high school title setting a scoring record that stood for thirty years.
Koch accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he became a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity (Florida Upsilon Chapter). While he was an undergraduate, Koch played for coach Buster Bishop's Florida Gators men's golf team in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) competition from 1971 to 1974. As a Gator golfer, he was a four-time first-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) selection, and a three-time All-American. He was also a member of the Gators teams that won SEC championships in 1973 and 1974 and an NCAA Championship in 1973. Individually, he was a two-time medalist in the SEC tournament (1973, 1974), and the runner-up behind Ben Crenshaw at the 1973 NCAA championship tournament. His Gators teammates included fellow future PGA Tour professionals Woody Blackburn, Andy Bean, Phil Hancock and Andy North. Koch graduated from Florida with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1976, and was inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 1978.
Koch turned professional in 1975, and won six events as a professional on the PGA Tour during the 1970s and 1980s. His career year in professional golf came in 1984 when he finished seventeenth on the money list and captured two titles: the Isuzu-Andy Williams San Diego Open and the Bay Hill Classic.
In preparation for play on the Champions Tour, Koch played some on the Nationwide Tour in his late 40s. After turning 50 in November 2002, he began play on the Champions Tour. His best finish in this venue was a tie for second at both the ACE Group Classic and Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf in 2004.
Koch's career as a sportscaster began in 1990 with ESPN working Champions Tour telecasts. Before the end of the decade, he joined NBC Sports. A long-time member of the NBC Sports announcing team (1996–present), he is mostly known for his "Better than Most" call in the third round of the 2001 Players Championship at the TPC at Sawgrass. Three down from leader Kenny Perry, Tiger Woods was facing a long, triple-breaking, fringe putt for birdie on the 17th hole's famous Island Green. Koch's call of that putt has gone down as one of the most famous in golf history as it was during the height of Tiger's dominance, on an iconic hole of a well-known course, on the way to an inevitable, yet routine Woods comeback to win the tournament.
Koch also maintains an interest in golf course design and helped design the front nine of "The Forest" course at The Eagles Golf Course in Odessa, Florida. Koch was inducted into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame in 2012. Koch currently resides in Tampa, Florida.
Professional wins (10)Edit
PGA Tour wins (6)Edit
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||To par||Margin of
|1||Apr 18, 1976||Tallahassee Open||71-69-67-70=277||−11||1 stroke||John Mahaffey|
|2||Mar 7, 1977||Florida Citrus Open||70-69-65-70=274||−14||2 strokes||Dale Hayes, Joe Inman|
|3||Feb 27, 1983||Doral-Eastern Open||69-67-65-70=271||−17||5 strokes||Ed Fiori|
|4||Jan 29, 1984||Isuzu-Andy Williams San Diego Open||68-70-69-65=272||−16||Playoff||Gary Hallberg|
|5||Mar 18, 1984||Bay Hill Classic||69-68-72-63=272||−12||Playoff||George Burns|
|6||May 8, 1988||Panasonic Las Vegas Invitational||68-73-66-67=274||−14||1 stroke||Peter Jacobsen, Mark O'Meara|
PGA Tour playoff record (2–0)
|1||1984||Isuzu-Andy Williams San Diego Open||Gary Hallberg||Won with birdie on second extra hole|
|2||1984||Bay Hill Classic||George Burns||Won with birdie on second extra hole|
Other wins (1)Edit
- 1969 Florida Open (as an amateur)
Senior wins (3)Edit
- 2003 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf – Raphael Division (with Roger Maltbie)
- 2008 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf – Raphael Division (with Roger Maltbie)
- 2009 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf – Raphael Division (with Roger Maltbie)
Champions Tour playoff record (0–1)
|1||2004||Vintage ARCO Invitational||Craig Stadler, Tom Watson||Stadler won with birdie on first extra hole|
Results in major championshipsEdit
|The Open Championship||CUT|
|The Open Championship||T14||T60||T11||T6||T4||T30|
|The Open Championship|
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
|The Open Championship||0||0||0||1||2||4||7||6|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 5 (twice)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 1 (four times)
U.S. national team appearancesEdit
- Associated Press, "Koch Ousts Champ in Junior Amateur," St. Petersburg Times, p. 2C (August 1, 1970). Retrieved April 20, 2010.
- Florida Men's Golf 2011 Media Supplement Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 34, 35, 37, 39, 41 (2010). Retrieved July 11, 2011.
- 2008–09 Florida Gators Men's Golf Media Guide, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, p. 36 (2008). Retrieved July 14, 2011.
- Robbie Andreu, "Top 25 Gator teams: #8 1973 Men's golf," Gainesville Sun (June 18, 2009). Retrieved April 20, 2010.
- F Club, Hall of Fame, Gator Greats. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
- "Bean And Koch Inducted," The Ledger, p. 1D (March 30, 1978). Retrieved June 23, 2010.
- "Cozart, Koch among 2012 Florida sports hall inductees". tbo.com. January 24, 2012. Archived from the original on February 3, 2013. Retrieved February 14, 2012.