All, just wanted to thank you for the advice. I tore the top of the engine down to the breather cover and immediately saw that the gasket was blown right by the oil pressure sender. What a dumb design for Kohler to have the high pressure oil circuit passing through the cover right next to the crankcase vent! Anyways, I see they made a major revision to the gasket material and thickness in the area where it blew out on me.
I put it all back together along with some tune-up parts and voila! It fired right up and I was able to cut my 5 acres in under 2 hours! The 23 horses are definitely enough too since the grass was about a foot long and the thing never bogged down once!