Las Vegas Golf

Jason Kokrak makes his tee shot on the second hole during the final round of the CJ Cup golf tournament at Shadow Creek Golf Course Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in North Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker)

NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. — In his 10th season, in his 233rd tournament, Jason Kokrak can finally call himself a PGA Tour winner.

Kokrak earned every bit of it Sunday in the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek. He matched the best round of the tournament with an 8-under 64 to overcome a three-shot deficit at the start and win a duel on the back nine with Xander Schauffele.

"Couldn't be happier," said Kokrak.

The timing couldn't be better. The CJ Cup moved from South Korea this year to Shadow Creek because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Kokrak is an ambassador for MGM Resorts, which owns the prestigious Tom Fazio design.

"It feels like home," Kokrak said. "I've played this golf course enough that I should know it by now."

Kokrak began to pull away with four straight birdies on the front nine, and birdie putts from 20 feet and 18 feet to start the back nine stretched his lead to two shots.

Schauffele answered with three straight birdies, the last one a 45-footer by using his putter from the thick collar of the 13th green to catch him. Then, it was a matter of who blinked first.

That turned out to be Schauffele on the par-5 16th, when he only managed to advance his shot from deep rough left of the fairway some 85 yards into more rough. Swinging with all his might, his third shot peeled off to the right into more rough well below the green, and he made his only bogey in his round of 66.

Kokrak also was in the left rough, hacked out to the right rough and put his third shot in the bunker. But he splashed it out to just inside 4 feet and made par for a one-shot lead, and Schauffele couldn't catch up.

Kokrak, a 35-year-old from Ohio, all but clinched it when he drilled his drive into the fairway on the par-5 18th, leaving only a short iron to 25 feet. He two-putted for his final birdie of a round he won't soon forget.

Russell Henley, who began the final round with a three-shot lead, never got anything going early and fell behind when he bogeyed the par-5 seventh and Kokrak was on his early run of birdies.

Henley's hopes ended on the reachable par-4 11th when he drove over the green into thick rough and, facing a downhill chip, left it in the rough short of the green and made bogey on the second-easiest scoring hole at Shadow Creek. That put him four shots behind, and a late push of birdies was never going to be enough.

He closed with a 70 and tied for third with Tyrrell Hatton, who was coming off a victory last week in the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Hatton closed with a 65.

Kokrak played bogey-free on a course where trouble was never too far away. Justin Thomas, within five shots of the lead, has two straight bogeys on the front nine and three more in a four-hole stretch on the back for a 74. Rory McIlroy was at least headed for a good finish until he had a pair of bogeys and two double bogeys over the last five holes for a 74.

Making it even tougher on Kokrak and Schauffele was Jason Day, the third in their group, withdrew with a neck injury on the second hole. That meant a twosome amidst a course filled with threesomes, and a lot of waiting. They still played at the highest level, with Kokrak delivering all the key putts.

Kokrak earned a spot in the Masters next month from reaching the Tour Championship a year ago in August. Now he can plan on two trips to Augusta National, qualifying for the 2021 tournament by winning.

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PGA Tour CJ Cup Scores

By The Associated Press

Sunday

At Shadow Creek Golf Course

Las Vegas

Purse: $9.75 million

Yardage: 7,527; Par: 72

Individual FedExCup Points in parentheses

Final Round

Jason Kokrak (500), $1,755,000 70-66-68-64_268

Xander Schauffele (300), $1,053,000 66-64-74-66_270

Tyrrell Hatton (163), $565,500 65-68-73-65_271

Russell Henley (163), $565,500 66-68-67-70_271

Talor Gooch (110), $390,000 70-65-69-68_272

Joaquin Niemann (100), $351,000 72-68-69-66_275

Lanto Griffin (88), $314,438 70-68-66-72_276

Bubba Watson (88), $314,438 74-69-65-68_276

Sebastián Muñoz (80), $282,750 71-70-67-69_277

Harris English (75), $263,250 75-66-69-68_278

Cameron Smith (70), $243,750 69-74-68-68_279

Matthew Fitzpatrick (58), $190,320 69-68-72-71_280

Viktor Hovland (58), $190,320 75-66-69-70_280

Collin Morikawa (58), $190,320 71-65-71-73_280

Ian Poulter (58), $190,320 69-70-73-68_280

Justin Thomas (58), $190,320 72-66-68-74_280

Mark Hubbard (48), $139,035 70-71-70-70_281

Si Woo Kim (48), $139,035 69-74-69-69_281

Ryan Palmer (48), $139,035 68-76-66-71_281

Jon Rahm (48), $139,035 67-73-69-72_281

Sergio Garcia (37), $91,956 71-70-72-69_282

Harry Higgs (37), $91,956 72-67-70-73_282

Danny Lee (37), $91,956 71-72-73-66_282

Hideki Matsuyama (37), $91,956 70-68-70-74_282

Robby Shelton (37), $91,956 73-70-70-69_282

Kevin Streelman (37), $91,956 68-70-72-72_282

Rory McIlroy (37), $91,956 73-69-66-74_282

Abraham Ancer (25), $57,135 69-73-70-71_283

Daniel Berger (25), $57,135 71-70-70-72_283

Tyler Duncan (25), $57,135 67-71-72-73_283

Rickie Fowler (25), $57,135 74-68-68-73_283

Adam Hadwin (25), $57,135 75-69-69-70_283

Brian Harman (25), $57,135 71-71-71-70_283

Billy Horschel (25), $57,135 70-70-72-71_283

Brooks Koepka (25), $57,135 74-68-68-73_283

Shane Lowry (25), $57,135 72-74-70-67_283

Richy Werenski (25), $57,135 74-68-70-71_283

Patrick Cantlay (17), $40,560 71-72-74-67_284

Joel Dahmen (17), $40,560 68-75-73-68_284

Tom Hoge (17), $40,560 73-70-73-68_284

Jordan Spieth (17), $40,560 74-74-69-67_284

Byeong Hun An (13), $33,735 73-73-68-71_285

Keegan Bradley (13), $33,735 75-70-68-72_285

Cameron Champ (13), $33,735 74-69-74-68_285

Sungjae Im (11), $27,885 78-69-72-67_286

Kevin Kisner (11), $27,885 77-71-67-71_286

Kevin Na (11), $27,885 76-66-73-71_286

Hanbyeol Kim, $23,205 74-69-73-71_287

Louis Oosthuizen (9), $23,205 70-73-74-70_287

Carlos Ortiz (9), $23,205 72-71-72-72_287

J.T. Poston (8), $21,645 78-70-71-69_288

Marc Leishman (6), $20,169 73-71-70-75_289

Seonghyeon Kim, $20,169 77-70-69-73_289

Matt Kuchar (6), $20,169 76-68-74-71_289

Kyoung-Hoon Lee (6), $20,169 78-73-70-68_289

Justin Rose (6), $20,169 74-72-68-75_289

Scottie Scheffler (6), $20,169 71-77-71-70_289

Brendon Todd (6), $20,169 77-73-70-69_289

Tommy Fleetwood (5), $19,208 77-71-72-70_290

Jaekyeong Lee, $19,208 77-76-71-66_290

Corey Conners (5), $18,720 77-70-72-72_291

Andrew Landry (5), $18,720 71-69-74-77_291

Nick Taylor (5), $18,720 71-74-72-74_291

Joohyung Kim, $18,330 75-71-74-72_292

Jim Herman (4), $17,843 78-69-72-75_294

Mackenzie Hughes (4), $17,843 73-75-69-77_294

Brendan Steele (4), $17,843 73-79-73-69_294

Michael Thompson (4), $17,843 75-77-74-68_294

Paul Casey (3), $17,258 75-77-67-76_295

Dylan Frittelli (3), $17,258 74-72-74-75_295

Jeongwoo Ham, $16,965 79-71-70-76_296

Gary Woodland (3), $16,770 73-75-78-71_297

Matthew Wolff (3), $16,575 80-73-69-77_299

Adam Long (3), $16,380 78-72-72-78_300

Sung Kang (3), $16,185 73-71-82-75_301

Alex Noren (2), $15,990 77-73-79-76_305

Tae Hee Lee, $15,795 75-75-82-74_306

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