Kokrak wins at Colonial; Cejka takes another senior major
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Jason Kokrak played in 233 PGA Tour events before getting his first victory. The big hitter didn’t have to wait nearly as long to win again, and overcame a local favorite to do it at Colonial.
Kokrak shot an even-par 70 in a final-group showdown Sunday with resurgent Jordan Spieth, winning the Charles Schwab Challenge at 14-under 266. Kokral was two strokes better than Spieth, who hit his approach at No. 18 over the green and into the water.
While even on the day, Kokrak had five bogeys to go with his five birdies. He twice needed two shots to get out of bunkers, and had back-to-back bogeys at Nos. 15 and 16.
But when he struck his final 4-foot putt, he followed the ball to the cup and finally broke into a smile when he pulled it out and celebrated with caddie David Robinson.
A huge crowd followed the only contending group all day, most of them waiting to erupt for Dallas-native Spieth, who started the round with a one-stroke lead before a bogey-filled 73. Instead of his second win at Colonial, he finished as the runner-up at Hogan’s Alley for the third time. It was still Spieth’s eighth top-10 finish in his last 11 starts this year, one more top 10 than he had the previous two seasons combined.
Kokrak, playing in his 16th tournament since winning the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek in October, joined Bryson DeChambeau and Stewart Cink as two-time winners this season.
PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — Alex Cejka won the Senior PGA Championship for his second straight major victory, thriving on accurate and powerful ball-striking and deft touch around demanding at Southern Hills.
Cejka shot a 3-under 67 for a four-stroke victory over Tim Petrovic, three weeks after he beat Steve Stricker in a playoff in the Regions Tradition in Alabama.
Cejka fled the Czech Republic with his father at age nine, settling eventually in West Germany, where he took up golf and turned professional at age 18.
Stricker had a one-shot lead going into the final round and many expected another duel to the finish. That duel vanished early, with Stricker’s usually reliable putting failing him greatly. He missed seven putts inside of 8 feet, and his ball-striking also was off, leading to a 77 that dropped into a tie for 11th.
Cejka finished at 8-under 272.
Petrovic also closed with a 67.
NORTH LAS VEGAS, Nev. (AP) — Ally Ewing won the LPGA Match Play at Shadow Creek, beating Sophia Popov 2 and 1 for her second tour victory.
Ewing won the difficult par-4 14th with a 62-foot birdie putt to take a 2-up lead and closed out her German rival with a double-bogey halve on the par-3 17th in the final event before the U.S. Women’s Open at Olympic in San Francisco.
The 28-year-old former Mississippi State player won her first tour title in October in Florida at Reynolds Lake Oconee, still playing under her maiden name of McDonald. On Sunday, she won on her first wedding anniversary with Bulldogs women’s coach Charlie Ewing.
On another long, hot day in the desert, Ewing won the par-4 second and fourth holes and held the 2-up lead until Popov took the par-5 11th with a birdie. Popov won the British Women’s Open last year.
In the semifinals, Ewing beat Ariya Jutanugarn 3 and 2, and Popov edged Shanshan Feng 1 up. Feng conceded the third-place match to Jutanugarn because of the heat and fatigue.
FARSO, Denmark (AP) — Bernd Wiesberger successfully defended his Made in HimmerLand title, closing with a 7-under 64 for a five-shot victory.
The 35-year-old Austrian golfer won the tournament in 2019 and it was canceled last year. He finished at 21 under at The Himmerland.
Italy’s Guido Migliozzi was second after a 63.
KORN FERRY TOUR
GLENVIEW, Ill. (AP) — Cameron Young led wire-to-wire for the second straight week on the Korn Ferry Tour, shooting a 4-under 67 for a five-stroke victory in the Evans Scholars Invitational.
The 24-year-old former Wake Forest player finished at 18-under 266 at The Glen Club. He won the AdventHealth Championship last week in Kansas City, Missouri.
Young earned $108,000 and jumped from 26th to 13th in the season standings. He’s the 10th player in the tour’s 32-year history to win back-to-back tournaments.
Adam Svensson was second after a 67.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Oklahoma State’s Bo Jin shot a 1-under 69 to take a two-shot lead into the final day of individual stroke play in the NCAA men’s championship.
The freshman led by three after a 65 on Saturday and followed with another day of crisp iron play to reach 9 under at Grayhawk Golf Club’s difficult Raptor Course.
Clemson senior Turk Pettit was 7 under after a 68 on another hot day in the desert.
Jin and teammate Eugenio Lopez-Chacarra helped Oklahoma State reach 12 under, 13 shots ahead of rival Oklahoma in the team competition.
The final round of individual stroke play will be Monday. The team field was cut to 15 after Sunday’s round and will be trimmed to a final eight for match play.
Juvic Pagunsan of the Philippines won the Japan Golf Tour’s Mizuno Open by three strokes, carrying his own clubs for all three rounds and playing with only 11 clubs. He closed with a 4-under 68 to finish at 17 under and earn a spot in the British Open. “I am getting older and last two times with 14 clubs were really heavy,” he said. ... French amateur Lucie Malchirand won the Ladies Italian Open in her second Ladies European Tour start, beating Finland’s Ursula Wikstrom and England’s Gabriella Cowley by a stroke at Margara in Piemonte. The 18-year-old Malchirand birdied the final two holes for an even-par 72 and a 7-under total. ... Taiwan’s Min Lee won the Mission Inn Resort and Club Championship for her third career Symetra Tour title. She closed with a 1-under 72 for a one-stroke victory over Savannah Vilaubi and Laetitia Beck. Lee finished at 8-under 211 at Mission Inn Resort in Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida. ... Dutchman Daan Huizing won the Irish Challenge at Portmarnock Links for his third career Challenge Tour title, beating Spain’s Eduard Rousaud on the first extra hole. Huizing closed with a 4-under 67 to match Rousaud at 9 under. ... Minami Katsu won the Japan LPGA’s Resort Trust Ladies by three strokes. She closed with a 1-under 71 to finish at 9 under.