Jason Kokrak shot a final round 65, highlighted by a four-under over the final nine holes, to take home the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Houston Open on Sunday. The victory was the third for Kokrak in his last 28 PGA Tour events. The victory is impressive given that Kokrak was tempted to withdraw from the event on Tuesday because of swing struggles.
The tournament got off to a rough start, with the first wave of players being delayed Thursday morning due to rain. That delay pushed a handful of players into finishing their first rounds on Friday and a portion of the second round on Saturday. Kokrak was one of those unfortunate players, having to finish up the final seven holes of his second round early Saturday morning.
Kokrak’s 10-under tournament score bested challengers Kevin Tway and Scottie Scheffler by two strokes. The victory pushed Kokrak into seventh place in the FedEx Cup standings as the Tour heads into the final event of the year next week.
Kokrak was nine shots back of the leader at the halfway point but shot nine-under over the weekend to post the best two-day score by four strokes. Two of his three victories have now come in the Lonestar State.
The Texas-native Scheffler had a one-shot leading heading into the final round and held that lead through the first nine holes of Sunday’s round. Back-to-back bogeys on ten and 11 handed the lead over to Martin Trainer at the time sitting at 9-under.
Trainer ended shooting even par and finishing T5. It was the best finish for the 2019 Puerto Rico Open winner since his victory and his first made cut of the season.
The turning point for Kokrak came midway through the back nine when he birdied four consecutive holes (13-16) to take over the lead and hold on for good. Kokrak’s birdie on 14 was just one of three birdies on that hole all day.
Kramer Hickok took home a solo fourth with a final score of seven-under. Hickok’s finish was his best of the fall wraparound season and gives the 29-year old momentum heading into the final event of the year.
Joel Dahmen fired a five-under, 65 to place in the top-10 along with Trainer. Dahmen’s cashed in on all four starts he’s made to start the new season, with his T5 finish here being his best.
Four players rounded out the top-10 with 5-under scores. Russell Henley, Robert Streb, Cameron Tringale, and Sam Burns are all exempt into next week’s RSM Classic if they weren’t already in.
Sunday’s low round of the day went to Denny McCarthy with a Sunday round of 6-under. McCarthy’s 64 moved him up 39 spots on the leaderboard, garnering much-needed FedEx Cup points as well as a solid payday.
Current FedEx Cup leader Sam Burns wrapped up the tournament with a T11 finish along with Matthew Wolff. Sungjae Im, second in points, shot a 2-under, good enough for a T19 place in the tournament.
The PGA Tour moves to Sea Island, GA for the RSM Classic and final event of the calendar year. Robert Streb is the defending champion at the Sea Island Resort.