THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK Recap: Kokrak Cashes In

THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK Recap: Kokrak Cashes In

This article is part of our Weekly Recap series.

It says it right on the front of Jason Kokrak's hat: Bet MGM.

For one week, at least, it would have been more apt to display, "Bet Kokrak."

Kokrak, who is an "MGM brand ambassador" and therefore has played the MGM-owned Shadow Creek golf course many times, spun that course knowledge into his first career PGA Tour win in 233 career starts at THE CJ CUP @ SHADOW CREEK in Las Vegas. 

Shadow Creek was a one-time replacement host, as the CJ CUP was relocated from South Korea to Las Vegas. The closest it had ever come to the PGA Tour was The Match between Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson two years ago. But there are a bunch of pro golfers affiliated with MGM, and they get to play the public-but-ultra-exclusive course as they see fit.

Golf Channel's Rich Lerner tweeted that Kokrak has played Shadow Creek "more than 20 times," and Kokrak himself said on Golf Channel after the win that, "I've played this golf course enough. I should know it."

Indeed.

Kokrak, one of the great ball strikers on Tour, ranked ninth in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee last season. The thing is, he can't putt. At least usually. He ranked outside the top 100 in SG: Putting the last six seasons, and last season he was outside the top 150. At Shadow Creek he ranked first, gaining more than 10 strokes on the field. For reference, he was a mere T32 in SG: OTT.

Chalk up

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Len Hochberg
Hochberg covers golf for RotoWire. A veteran sports journalist, he contributes to Sports on Earth and was an editor and reporter at The Washington Post for many years.
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