The CJ Cup: Jason Kokrak secures maiden PGA Tour win in Las Vegas
Tyrrell Hatton closes out another impressive week with final-round 65 to jump into tied-third; Rory McIlroy finishes tied-21st
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 19/10/20 6:14am
Jason Kokrak came through a final-round tussle with Xander Schauffele to claim a maiden PGA Tour title at The CJ Cup in Las Vegas.
The world No 53 carded eight birdies in a bogey-free 64 at Shadow Creek to finish on 20 under and two ahead of his playing partner Schauffele, who held at least a share of the lead for large parts of the final round.
Kokrak's long-awaited breakthrough came in his 233rd PGA Tour start and secures him an invite to next year's Masters and PGA Championship, with the win also lifting him inside the world's top 30 for the first time.
England's Tyrrell Hatton closed out another impressive week with a final-round 65 to jump into tied-third alongside overnight leader Russell Henley, with Talor Gooch four strokes back in fifth spot.
Kokrak - starting the day three behind Henley - rolled in an eight-footer at the second and posted four straight birdies from the fifth to move ahead of Schauffele, who had made the early move with three birdies in his first five holes.
Schauffele made a 20-foot gain at the ninth to reach the turn in 32 and within one of the lead, only for Kokrak to hole from a similar distance at the 10th and add another from long range to match his playing partner's birdie at the par-four 11th.
The world No 8 made a six-foot birdie at the 12th and pitched in from off the 13th green to regain his share of the lead, before bogeying the 16th to give Kokrak a one-shot lead heading to the par-five last.
Kokrak hit a monster drive to leave a wedge into the 18th green and set up a closing two-putt birdie, which doubled his winning margin when Schauffele signed off his six-under 66 with a final-hole par.
"I did a good job of hitting the spots where we were trying to putt it to," Kokrak said. "Very happy with how I've been putting and kind of paying off with all the work I've been putting in."
Henley gave himself an outside hope with a 25-foot birdie at the 16th but couldn't find the final-hole albatross to extend the contest, settling for a par, while Hatton ended his week strongly my mixing nine birdies with two bogeys to finish on 17 under.
Defending champion Justin Thomas struggled to a closing 74 to finish in the group tied-12th that also included English duo Ian Poulter and Matt Fitzpatrick, while 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.