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Jason Kokrak Claims First PGA Tour Victory

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Jason Kokrak Claims First PGA Tour Victory

American Jason Kokrak came through an almighty tussle with fellow countryman Xander Schauffele to claim his maiden PGA Tour title.

In his 233rd start, the 35-year-old shot a final round 64 to win the CJ Cup in Las Vegas on Sunday.

 

Final Round Overview

Kokrak started the day three shots back from overnight leader Russell Henley who was sat at 15-under-par. The American started brightly though, rolling in an eight-footer at the second and posting four straight birdies from the fifth to move into the lead.

Nearest rival Schauffele had also enjoyed a great start, making three birdies in his first five holes. Schauffele would make yet another birdie at the ninth to finish the front nine in 32 shots and move to within one of the lead.

Kokrak would extend his lead on the 10th and add another birdie from long range to match his playing partner’s birdie at the par-four 11th. Schauffele wasn’t giving in though and followed up a birdie at the 12th with a pitch in on the 13th to regain his share of the lead.

The 26-year-old continued to apply pressure, but a costly bogey on the 16th hole would give Kokrak a one shot advantage as he played the par 5 last. The American would take full advantage of Shauffele’s mistake as he hit a monster drive to leave a wedge into the 18th green and set up a closing two-putt birdie. Schauffele could only produce par on the last hole to sign off with a six-under-par round of 66 and with it another runner-up position for the American.

Notable Performances

Overnight leader Henley had given himself an outside hope with a 25-foot birdie at the 16th but couldn’t find an unlikely albatross at the last to extend the contest. The T3 finish was the American’s best result since the 2019 John Deere Classic.

Englishman, Tyrrell Hatton, carried on his fine form as a seven-under-par round put the 28-year-old in a tie with Henley.

Defending champion Justin Thomas struggled to a closing 74 to finish in the group tied-12th along with English duo Ian Poulter and Matt Fitzpatrick.

Rory McIlroy dropped six shots in a four-hole stretch on his back nine and three-putted the last for par to end the week in a share of 21st.

 

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A lifelong interest in watching and playing sport led Matt to study Sports Journalism at Solent University, graduating in 2019 with a broken nose after a hockey mishap. However, golf is his primary passion. As a junior, he held a scratch handicap, played for county and was Junior Club Captain. Matt has interviewed a number of influential figures within golf as well as working with the R&A and writing for Golf Monthly.

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