Come Meet Gary Koch - The new world of golf (Hall of Fame Member)
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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 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 playing 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 best 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 Jerry Kelly, 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.