Champions Golf Tour
Cochran bests Funk in playoff



Songdo, South Korea (Sports Network) - Russ Cochran birdied the first playoff hole Sunday to defeat Fred Funk and win the Posco E&C Songdo Championship.

Cochran earned his first Champions Tour victory after winning Rookie of the Year honors last season. He will also forever have his name in the history books as he won the first PGA Tour sanctioned event in Asia.

"What an honor to come over here and come out with the victory," said Cochran in a televised interview. "It's a great thing. I don't win a lot. It's special."

Cochran only won once on the PGA Tour and that came at the 1991 Western Open.

He probably shouldn't have won on Sunday.

Cochran was tied for the lead with Funk at 12-under par when the two were on the 18th hole. Cochran drove into a bunker on the left and was forced to lay up at the par-five hole. Funk was in the fairway off the tee, but pulled his second shot slightly left of the green.

After Cochran's lay up, he knocked his third 10 feet short of the hole. Funk managed to get his third to three feet. Cochran did not convert on his birdie effort and that opened the door for Funk. But Funk's three-foot putt for the win never hit the hole and it was off to a playoff.

"It's very tough," said Cochran of Funk's putt. "That's one he'll be upset about."

Cochran signed for his six-under 66 and Funk for his four-under 68. The two finished at 12-under 204 and were back off to the 18th tee at Jack Nicklaus Golf Club Korea to begin the extra session.

Funk, who won the Tradition last month, had the honor and might have felt a little anger over the hiccup a few minutes earlier. Funk, one of the most accurate but shortest hitters in golf, hammered his ball down the fairway while Cochran elected to hit a hybrid club off the tee. He found the short grass, but his three-wood approach landed in a greenside bunker left.

Funk had only 165 yards to the front of the green, but his second came up short in a sand trap.

Cochran hit a spectacular bunker shot that rolled within two feet. Funk chunked his shot from the sand and didn't even make the green. He tried to hole his chip from just off the putting surface and it nearly grazed the side of the hole, but ultimately ran four feet by the cup.

Funk made his par putt, then Cochran kicked in his short birdie effort for the win. He pocketed $450,000 for the victory, which was the largest first-place check this year on the Champions Tour.

Tom Pernice, Jr. had a five-under 67 on Sunday and took third at minus-11.

Joe Ozaki (67) and D.A. Weibring (69) shared fourth place at eight-under 208, while Mark Calcavecchia's three-under 69 gave him sixth place at seven- under-par 209.

Cochran and Funk were tied after a two-shot swing at the fourth and an eight- foot birdie putt from Cochran at the fifth. Both players birdied six and seven and it was another two-shot swing at the 10th that gave Funk the lead on his own at 12-under par.

That two-shot lead didn't last one hole. Funk three-putted for bogey from 25 feet at the 11th and Cochran drained a nine-foot birdie putt to match him in first at 11-under par.

The pair birdied 16 to stay tied for the lead, but it looked like Cochran would move in front at the par-three 17th. Cochran hit a great tee ball that nearly ran in the hole, but finally stopped five feet from the flagstick. He missed the birdie try, but eventually won after the first playoff hole.

Tim Simpson (69), John Cook (72) and Michael Allen (71) tied for seventh place at minus-six.

NOTES: Bernhard Langer, the leading money winner on the Champions Tour, struggled to an eight-over 80 on Sunday and fell into a tie for 42nd at plus- six...The Champions Tour returns in two weeks for the SAS Championship, which was won last year by Pernice.

09/12 03:05:26 ET