Kokrak storms to two-shot Houston Open victory

By: AFP      Published: 09:24 AM, 15 Nov, 2021
Jason Kokrak poses with the trophy
Jason Kokrak poses with the trophy. AFP

Jason Kokrak torched the back nine at Memorial Park on Sunday, firing four birdies in a row on the way to a five-under par 65 and a two-shot victory in the US PGA Tour Houston Open.

Kokrak's 10-under par total of 270 gave the American a third victory in little more than 12 months.

He claimed his breakthrough victory at the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas in October of 2020 and won at Colonial in Fort Worth Texas in May.

"Very blessed to be standing here," said Kokrak, who had returned on Saturday morning to complete his second round and played seven holes in seven-over par to lie 10 shots adrift at the halfway stage.

He started the final round two shots off the lead held by Scottie Scheffler, gained steam with a two-foot birdie at the third hole followed by a tap-in birdie at the fourth.

After a bogey at the sixth, he caught fire after the turn, rolling in a 12-footer for birdie at the 13th and a 23-footer at 14.

He birdied 15 and 16 with putts of six and five feet to break free atop the leaderboard.

Scheffler, who is ranked 21st in the world and was a captain's pick on the victorious US Ryder Cup team in September, faded with three back-nine bogeys and remains in search of his first tour title after a one-under 69.

He shared second place on 272 with Kevin Tway, who carded a 68.

"So I'll take from this I felt like I played a lot of good golf this week without really my best stuff," Scheffler said.

"I really felt uncomfortable with my ball-striking going into the week, but I gave myself a chance to win here in the end.

"I put myself in position on Sunday. I'd say today I just probably didn't make enough putts. Outside of that, I definitely played good enough to win."

American Kramer Hickok was alone in fourth after a 69 for 273.

Martin Trainer, whose 36-hole lead marked just his second made cut in seven months, carded a final-round 70 to finish tied for fifth on 274 with Joel Dahmen (65).

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AFP

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