Braxton Hunter played in the final grouping of the Ira Templeton Chattanooga Open. He knew he beat the other three guys in his group.
"I thought I'd won," said Hunter, last year's winner.
He barely considered the possibility that somebody from another group could post a lower score.
Johan Kok, playing one group ahead, played four shots better at Creeks Bend Golf Club and won with an 8-under-par 132, including a 62 in the final round.
"I thought I had to make par on the last hole to win," Hunter said. "I knew somebody had to shoot a 65 just to tie.
"When you see a 62, you just take your hat off to the guy."
Kok came within one stroke of tying the course single-round record of 61. He'll take the 62, the trophy and the $2,000 check for low professional.
"I hit it horrendous on the first five holes but still made three birdies," said Kok, who tossed out two balls that hit the cart path in that span. "But I was putting so well. Any time you're putting as well as I was the last two days, you'll have a good score."
Kok was born in South Africa, moved to Georgia at 12 years old, played collegiately at South Carolina and then toiled on the Challenge Tour and the South African Tour for five years before becoming a PGA professional. He is the general manager of Temple Hills Country Club in Franklin, Tenn.
Kok first played Creeks Bend on Monday in the first round of the tournament. He shot an even-par 70. Then came the second best score of his career on Tuesday.
"This course has a mix of tight holes that you play conservatively, and I thought you could easily hit it out of bounds on every hole," he said. "Today, I was a little more relaxed."
Kok birdied five of his first nine holes, then four on the back nine without a single bogey.
"I've shot better rounds since I stopped playing tour golf for a living," he joked, noting the courses are a little easier. "I have a couple 62s and a 61 at my home course."
Brooks Thomas earned low-amateur honors in the regular division with a 1-under 139, including a 65 on Tuesday. His University of Tennessee at Chattanooga coach, Mark Guhne, was the low professional in the senior division. This was his first tournament as a pro in many years, and he shot a 139.
Jim Brown of Loudon earned low-senior honors with a closing 66 for 138. He said he'll put the trophy next to others he's won since moving to Tennessee in 2001. The trophy bookcase is a family heirloom that once belonged to his grandfather, who fought in the Civil War.
"It will fit well up there," he said.
Contact David Uchiyama at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6484. Follow him at twitter.com/UchiyamaCTFP.
David Uchiyama is a sports writer at the Chattanooga Times Free Press who began his tenure here in May 2001. His primary beats are UTC athletics — specifically men’s basketball and athletic department administration — and golf, which includes coverage from the PGA Tour to youth events. He also covers other high school sports, outdoor adventures, and contributes to other sections of the newspaper when necessary. David grew up in Salinas, Calif., and began working ...