2005: Nationwide Tour - Couch comfortable after 2nd title

Glenview, Ill.

Chris Couch has had a taste of the PGA Tour, and he’s champing at the bit for another try.

Couch, who played the PGA Tour in 1999 and 2003, earned his second Nationwide Tour victory of the season June 12 at the LaSalle Bank Open. Couch shot 15-under 269 to win by four shots over a trio of players at The Glen Club. Couch earned $135,000 to jump four spots to No. 1 on the money list ($275,995).

“I couldn’t be happier,” said Couch, who won the Rheem Classic May 15. “I won the biggest tournament of the year today. I knew coming in it was the biggest purse of the year, so my goal was to finish first or second. I accomplished that goal.”

Couch, who finished second at the Virginia Beach Open in late April, also earned a spot in the PGA Tour’s Western Open June 30-July 3 at Cog Hill.

“I’m looking forward to playing in the Western,” he said. “I’m pumped about that. I didn’t think I’d be playing on the PGA Tour this year. I’m also excited about the possibility of winning three times this year. That is definitely my goal now.”

Couch needs one more victory to earn an immediate battlefield promotion to the PGA Tour. Despite the highlights, it has been an up-and-down year for Couch. He tied for 16th at Panama, then went missed cut, second (Virginia Beach), missed cut, first (Rheem), missed cut, first (LaSalle). Dating to his two victories in 2003 (Oregon and Tour Championship), Couch has won four of his last 15 starts. “Wow, I had not heard that stat before,” Couch said. “To win four times in 15 starts is pretty good.”

Couch is determined to improve on his 181st (1999) and 217th (2004) finishes on the PGA Tour money list.

“I definitely have some work to do on the PGA Tour because I haven’t proven myself out there yet,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll prove myself out there next year.”

At LaSalle, Couch was the only player to shoot four rounds in the 60s (66-67-69-67). He took the lead to stay after the second round.

Kevin Durkin (67), Paul Gow (68) and Mario Tiziani (68) tied for second at 11 under, and Camilo Villegas (65) and Mathew Goggin (68) followed at 10 under.

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