Jason Kokrak performed in 233 PGA Tour occasions earlier than getting his first victory. The large hitter did not have to attend practically as lengthy to win once more, and overcame an area favourite to do it at Colonial.
Kokrak shot an even-par 70 in a final-group showdown Sunday with resurgent Jordan Spieth, successful the Charles Schwab Problem at 14-under 266. He was two strokes higher than Spieth, who hit his method at No. 18 over the inexperienced and into the water.
Whereas even on the day, Kokrak had 5 bogeys to go along with his 5 birdies. He twice wanted two pictures to get out of bunkers, and had back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 15 and 16.
However when he struck his last 4-foot putt, he adopted the ball to the cup and at last broke right into a smile when he pulled it out and celebrated with caddie David Robinson.
An enormous crowd adopted the one contending group all day, most of them ready to erupt for Dallas-native Spieth, who began the spherical with a one-stroke lead earlier than a bogey-filled 73. As an alternative of his second win at Colonial, he completed because the runner-up at Hogan’s Alley for the third time. It was nonetheless Spieth’s eighth top-10 end in his final 11 begins this 12 months, another high 10 than he had the earlier two seasons mixed.
“They have been undoubtedly rooting for the man subsequent to me,” mentioned Kokrak, who tied for third at Colonial final June. “Each of us did not have our A-game in the present day. We grinded it out.”
Kokrak, enjoying in his sixteenth event since successful he CJ Cup at Shadow Creek in October, turned the third participant with two PGA Tour wins this season. He joined Bryson DeChambeau and Stewart Cink in that group.
Charley Hoffman completed in a four-way third at 10 beneath with a closing 65. He additionally had a tournament-best 62 on Friday, however that was sandwiched by a pair of over-par rounds (71 on Thursday and 72 on Saturday). Patton Kizzire (67), Sebastian Munoz (68) and Ian Poulter (68) have been additionally at 10-under 270. Troy Merritt was alongside in seventh at 7 beneath.
WATCH | Kokrak wins Charles Schwab Problem:
Sergio Garcia was in third place with the ultimate spherical started, 4 strokes behind Kokrak and 5 behind Garcia. However the 41-year-old Spaniard, who bought the primary of his 11 PGA Tour wins 20 years in the past at Colonial, began with a wayward tee shot and bogeyed the opening par 5, then had had a three-putt for double bogey at No. 3. He shot a 76 and tied for twentieth at 276.
Kokrak took the lead for good with birdies on the longest and shortest holes, making a 13-foot putt on the 629-yard eleventh gap, an then a 17-footer off the perimeter on the 170-yard thirteenth after a tee shot the got here near going into the water fronting the par 3. Spieth solely had two birdies all day, the final with an method to lower than 2 toes on No. 9 that matched them at 14 beneath going to the again 9.
However Kokrak had rapidly fallen two strokes behind after a bogey on the 551-yard opening gap, when his method went right into a greenside bunker and he did not get the ball out of there on the primary strive.
However Spieth, who had solely two bogeys within the first 55 holes, then bogeyed three holes in a row — and had two extra on the again 9. He went in the fitting tough after which over the inexperienced on each Nos. 2 and three, then hit right into a bunker fronting the troublesome 241-yard, par-3 4th. He blasted to 6 toes, however his par try curled across the fringe of the cup and he needed to faucet in for bogey.
As an alternative of going forward at No. 4, Kokrak was even at 12 beneath due to his bogey after driving over the inexperienced. However Kokrak took the lead for the primary time with a 23-foot birdie putt on the fifth, earlier than each rolled in birdies at No. 6.
Kokrak then had his different bunker bother, from the facet of the No. 7 inexperienced, when he once more wanted two pictures to get out. That bogey tied them once more, with Spieth making par after a benefitting from tee shot huge proper that hit a tree and ricocheted into the green.