Jason Kokrak claims CJ Cup at Shadow Creek for his first PGA Tour win

Jason Kokrak won a high-stakes shootout in Vegas to claim his first PGA Tour victory at the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek.

Kokrak, making his 233rd start on the PGA Tour, shot a final-round 64 and outdueled Xander Schauffele in a Sunday showdown.

Kokrak has two wins on the Korn Ferry Tour but they both came back in 2011. He has three seconds and three thirds since reaching the big stage in 2012 but now finally has a PGA Tour win on his résumé.

Kokrak had four straight birdies on Nos. 5 through 8 to charge into the lead on Sunday. He then birdied 10 and 11 to open a three-shot cushion.

But Schauffele had a birdie binge of his own, making three in a row on Nos. 11, 12 and 13, which forged a tie with Kokrak.

But on 16, some separation. Schauffele posted a bogey 6 on the par-5 hole, while Kokrak made a three-footer for par to take a one-shot lead with two to go.

On 17, both golfers made par, setting the stage for Kokrak on the 18th hole. Kokrak ripped a 342-yard drive, with his ball landing in the middle of the fairway, 161 yards out. He then hit a short iron to about 25 feet.

Schauffele parred the hole for a final-round 66 but it was not enough. He finished at 18 under. Kokrak two-putted for a 64 to get to 20 under and then had to wait out Russell Henley, who led after three rounds by three shots.

Henley’s last hope was to hole out from the fairway on 18 for eagle but he could not.

Kokrak is finally a winner on the PGA Tour.

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The PGA Tour made Shadow Creek a one-time stop on the schedule this year. The CJ Cup is usually held in Korea but was moved to the exclusive course in North Las Vegas in the wake schedule changes brought on by the global coronavirus pandemic.

When it goes back overseas in 2021, the CJ Group has announced the tournament will be played at a new course, Haesley Nine Bridges. The event was at the Club @ Nine Bridges on Jeju Island for the first three years.

The PGA Tour heads to Sherwood Country Club next week for the Zozo Championship. Tiger Woods, the defending champion, and Phil Mickelson, who is now 2-for-2 on the PGA Tour Champions, are in the 78-man field.

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