Jason Kokrak celebrated a maiden PGA Tour title after winning The CJ Cup at Shadow Creek by two strokes on Sunday.

Kokrak carded an eight-under-par 64 to beat fellow American Xander Schauffele to the title in Las Vegas.

The 35-year-old Kokrak was flawless in the final round, holing eight birdies to finish 20 under for the tournament, including four in a row from the fifth to the eighth.

Kokrak – in his 233rd career start on the PGA Tour – made 14 putts of 10 feet or more during the event – a career-high in a Tour tournament.

Schauffele, who was seeking his fifth PGA Tour crown, posted a fourth-round 66 to earn the runners-up cheque.

After shooting a 74 on the penultimate day, Schauffele responded with seven birdies and just one bogey as he backed up his fifth-place finish at the U.S. Open.

Tyrrell Hatton (65) and overnight leader Russell Henley (70) closed the tournament tied for third at 17 under, while Talor Gooch (68) was a shot further back.

Defending champion Justin Thomas' bid for a third CJ Cup title ended in a share of 12th, 12 strokes adrift of Kokrak.

Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy recorded a 74 as he fell 11 positions to six under – a shot better off than Brooks Koepka.

Koepka – playing for the first time following a two-month injury layoff due to hip and knee issues which forced him to miss the FedEx Cup play-offs and U.S. Open – posted a one-over-par 73.

Former world number one Jordan Spieth's (67) second consecutive round in the 60s earned a share of 38th but his struggles continue as he still searches for his first triumph since 2017.

Russell Henley leads The CJ Cup at Shadow Creek by three strokes after impressing in the third round.

Henley carded a bogey-free five-under-par 67 to move top of the leaderboard through 54 holes in Nevada on Saturday.

A three-time PGA Tour champion but without a win since 2017, Henley tallied five birdies, including three in a row from the 10th hole.

Henley now holds a 54-hole lead/co-lead for the third time on Tour – the American has converted one of those instances into a victory via the 2013 Sony Open.

At 15 under, Henley enters the final round ahead of Lanto Griffin (66), Talor Gooch (69), Jason Kokrak (68) and Xander Schauffele (74).

Schauffele was the overnight leader having surged top of the standings by three shots, but the four-time PGA Tour winner lost ground on the penultimate day following two birdies and four bogeys.

Defending champion and two-time winner Justin Thomas is five strokes off the pace after rising two positions on the back of his four-under-par 68.

Thomas – who leads the Tour in fall victories (four) since the wraparound schedule started in 2013-14, no other player has more than two in that span – is tied for sixth alongside former world number one Jason Day (66) and Tyrrell Hatton (73).

Day is playing for his 13th Tour victory and first since the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship.

Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy posted a third-round 66 to catapult himself into a share of 10th, seven strokes behind Henley.

McIlroy birdied his final three holes to improve to eight under overall, alongside Bubba Watson (65), Sebastian Munoz (67) and Hideki Matsuyama (70), while Jon Rahm (69) is a stroke further back.

Brooks Koepka – playing for the first time following a two-month injury layoff due to hip and knee issues which forced him to miss the FedEx Cup play-offs and U.S. Open – is tied for 18th position.

Koepka's four-under-par 68 ensured he ended the round alongside the likes of Rickie Fowler (68) and Viktor Hovland (69).

Three-time major winner Jordan Spieth (69), meanwhile, finds himself one over after three rounds.

Xander Schauffele carded a superb eight-under 64 to grab a three-stroke lead at the halfway mark of The CJ Cup at Shadow Creek.

Schauffele, a four-time winner on the PGA Tour, moved into 14 under on the back of a bogey-free second round in Nevada on Friday.

The American started his round on the back nine, and made seven birdies in eight holes – including six straight from the 13th.

His back-nine 29 marked his career-low nine-hole score on the PGA Tour.

Schauffele is three shots clear of Tyrrell Hatton, who held a one-stroke overnight lead.

Hatton, who won the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour last week, endured a mixed round with seven birdies and three bogeys.

Russell Henley is outright third at 10 under after also shooting a 68.

Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy improved in the second round to sit at two under in a tie for 26th.

Koepka managed a four-under 68 after his opening 74, while McIlroy fired a 69.

Justin Thomas, the defending champion and two-time winner of the PGA Tour event, is in contention after carding a 66 to get to six under.

Talor Gooch sits outright fourth at nine under after an impressive 65, and he is a stroke ahead of Jason Kokrak (66) and US PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa (65).

Meanwhile, Jordan Spieth's struggles continued as he shot a second straight 74 to be at four over and in a tie for 61st.

Winless since 2017, Spieth has missed three consecutive cuts and has just two top-10 finishes in 16 events this year.

Tyrrell Hatton holds a one-stroke lead following the opening round of The CJ Cup at Shadow Creek, where the likes of Rory McIlroy, Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth ended the day over par.

The PGA Tour tournament is taking place in Las Vegas after being moved from South Korea because of travel restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, with world number one Dustin Johnson absent due to his positive COVID-19 test.

On the course, Englishman Hatton – who claimed last week's BMW PGA Championship via the European Tour – set the early pace with a seven-under-par 65 at Shadow Creek Golf Course on Thursday.

Looking to add to his sole PGA Tour victory after winning this year's Arnold Palmer Invitational, Hatton mixed an eagle with seven birdies and two bogeys.

It is Hatton's first career 18-hole lead on the PGA Tour as the 29-year-old tops the leaderboard ahead of Russell Henley and Xander Schauffele, having tied his career low nine-hole score by shooting a 30 on the back nine.

Spanish star Jon Rahm and Tyler Duncan are two strokes off the pace heading into the second round, a shot clear of Joel Dahmen, Ryan Palmer and Kevin Streelman.

Former world number one Jason Day posted a 70 to be two under – a stroke better off than Sergio Garcia.

Justin Thomas opened his title defence with a 72 after the two-time CJ Cup champion double bogeyed his final hole of the round.

Four-time major champion Rory McIlroy – playing for the first time since finishing tied for eighth at the U.S. Open – struggled on day one.

McIlroy bogeyed his final three holes as he signed for a one-over-par 73, while Koepka and Spieth did not fare much better ahead of next month's rescheduled Masters.

Returning following a two-month injury layoff due to hip and knee issues after missing the FedEx Cup playoffs and U.S. Open, Koepka had three birdies, a double bogey and three bogeys on a mixed day.

Out of form and without a title since capturing the 2017 Open Championship, Spieth experienced a similar round with four birdies, a triple bogey and three bogeys.

World number one Dustin Johnson will tee off at the 2020 U.S. Open on Thursday in a star-studded group with Bryson DeChambeau and Tony Finau.

Johnson, whose solitary major triumph came at this event in 2016, has returned to the rankings summit following a stunning run of form on the PGA Tour.

The 36-year-old has claimed three tournament wins, including the TOUR Championship, to land him a maiden FedExCup and the PGA Tour Player of the Year Award.

Johnson is the favourite to lift the trophy at Winged Foot this week and will be alongside American compatriots DeChambeau and Finau, who are each seeking their first major title.

That headline group goes out at 1:16PM (local time).

Two-time winner Brooks Koepka is absent as he seeks full fitness, while reigning champion Gary Woodland will compete alongside 2019 Open winner Shane Lowry and amateur Andy Ogletree.

Tiger Woods, who has his name on the silverware three times, will feature in a trio with US PGA victor Collin Morikawa and Justin Thomas.

Rory McIlroy's pursuit of a fifth major will see him tee off in a group featuring Adam Scott and Justin Rose. 

Spain's Jon Rahm, also considered a leading contender for glory, is in a threesome with Phil Mickelson, who needs this major to complete the set, and Paul Casey.

 

 

Brooks Koepka has withdrawn from the U.S. Open due to ongoing injury concerns.

The four-time major champion pulled out of The Northern Trust last month after struggling with a knee issue.

In a tweet posted on Wednesday, Koepka confirmed he will be taking time out so he can return to full fitness.

"Unfortunately, I have decided to withdraw from next week's U.S. Open," he wrote. "I'm looking forward to getting healthy and competing at 100 per cent again very soon."

Koepka missed the cut at the Wyndham Championship in August before he was forced to withdraw from a charity exhibition event at TPC Boston as a knee problem persisted.

The 30-year-old missed three months of action in 2019 and had an MRI scan on his right knee prior to the Memorial Tournament this year.

He said in July: "Just wanted to check on it, see where it's at. We got the results right after Korea, and then we just wanted to check, and nothing is improved.

"It's still the same. So we'll figure it out when we're done."

Koepka won back-to-back U.S. Opens in 2017 and 2018 and finished second last year at Pebble Beach to Gary Woodland.

 

Four-time major champion Brooks Koepka's PGA Tour season is over after he withdrew from The Northern Trust due to a knee injury.

The former world number one pulled out of the charity exhibition event at TPC Boston on Wednesday as he continues to be troubled by a lingering knee problem.

Koepka is 97th in the FedEx Cup standings and with only the top 70 progressing to the BMW Championship - the second week of the play-offs - the American has played his last tournament of the 2019-20 season.

The 30-year-old missed the cut at the Wyndham Championship last week after failing to win a third consecutive PGA Championship title.

Koepka finished 29th when major golf returned in San Francisco this month.

He missed three months of action last year due to a troublesome right knee and revealed last month he underwent an MRI scan ahead of the Memorial Tournament.

Koepka sid in July: "Just wanted to check on it, see where it's at. We got the results right after Korea, and then we just wanted to check, and nothing is improved.

"It's still the same. So we'll figure it out when we're done."

Koepka has a month to try and get back to full fitness for the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

Tom Hoge, Kim Si-woo, Talor Gooch and Billy Horschel are tied for the lead after the second round of the Wyndham Championship, while four-time major champion Brooks Koepka missed the cut.

The quartet of Hoge, Kim, Gooch and Horschel are one stroke clear atop the leaderboard at the halfway stage of the PGA Tour tournament in North Carolina.

Hoge was in a three-way tie for the lead at the start of the second round, joined by Harold Varner III and Roger Sloan, and the American maintained his position at the Sedgefield Country Club on Friday.

Five birdies and two bogeys helped Hoge to a two-under-par 68 to be 10 under through 36 holes, alongside 2016 champion Kim (65), Gooch (65) and Horschel (64).

Harris English (67), Shane Lowry (63), Andrew Landry (65), Doc Redman (64) and Varner (69) are a stroke off the pace heading into the weekend, while Sloan is a shot further back after his second-round 70.

Patrick Reed – winner of the event in 2013 – and US PGA Championship runner-up Paul Casey are among a group tied at seven under.

Former world number one and three-time major champion Jordan Spieth avoided the cut following his three-under-par 67.

Struggling for form, Spieth improved 25 positions above the cut line – three under – after opening the tournament with a 70.

However, American star Koepka failed to qualify for the weekend, along with defending champion J.T. Poston (66) and Justin Rose (67).

After he was unable to complete a three-peat of US PGA titles last week, Koepka's second-round 70 saw him finish the tournament two over.

Brooks Koepka downplayed his relationship with Dustin Johnson after his controversial comments at the US PGA Championship.

After the third round at TPC Harding Park on Saturday, Koepka reminded Johnson he had "only won one" major as both looked to claim the title in San Francisco.

Koepka fell short in his three-peat bid and Johnson ended up runner-up as Collin Morikawa won his maiden major.

Four-time major champion Koepka was criticised for those comments and the American downplayed his relationship with Johnson on Thursday.

"We worked out, I worked with Joey [Diovisalvi, trainer] for two years," he said after the first round of the Wyndham Championship.

"You guys make your own stories so I have no idea what you all do, but I think even the Jordan [Spieth] and Justin [Thomas] thing gets blown out too much.

"I think you guys overplay a lot of things."

In his comments at the US PGA, Koepka also said: "I don't know a lot of the other guys up there".

The 30-year-old, who opened with a two-over 72 at the Wyndham Championship, apologised, but felt too much was made about what he said.

"I apologise for the other guys comment just cos' I really didn't look at the leaderboard," Koepka said.

"I saw Dustin was at nine [under], I was at five at that point and then made two coming in so I really didn't even know where I kind of stood, didn't really look coming off 18 and then went right into the interview.

"I had no idea who was eight, who was seven, but I never really look at guys that are tied with me, I always kind of look ahead so I had no idea but I get it, I get how it came across and I apologise for that."

Brooks Koepka turned his attention to the two remaining majors in 2020 as the American star remained upbeat following his unsuccessful attempt to win a third consecutive US PGA Championship.

Koepka struggled on the final day of the tournament in San Francisco, where Collin Morikawa broke through for his maiden major title thanks to a thrilling two-shot triumph on Sunday.

Eyeing a third straight US PGA crown and fifth major victory, Koepka started the day two strokes off the pace but a final-round 74 saw his hopes dashed at TPC Harding Park.

Koepka finished tied for 29th at three under through 72 holes, 10 shots behind fellow American Morikawa.

"To be honest, the bogey on two was not good," Koepka, with the U.S. Open and Masters to come, said as he reflected on his round.

"But to make the turn at four over was disappointing, to say the least. You knew you had to be under par, at least one, to have a good chance on the back side.

"It's my first bad round in a while in a major. You know, I was just there to cheer Paul [Casey] on. That was it. Just try to help him get it in the house and see how well he could finish, because I had put myself out of it already.

"Hey, wasn't meant to be. Three in a row, you're not really supposed to do two in a row looking at history, but that's all right. Got two more the rest of the season and we'll figure it out from there."

Asked about Morikawa as the 23-year-old closed in on his victory ahead of Paul Casey and Dustin Johnson, Koepka said: "He's a hell of a player. He's really good. You see these guys coming out of college now, they are ready to win, and prime example.

"I think of that group, him, Matt Wolff, Viktor Hovland, it's impressive what they do. They come out of college and they're ready to play out here. Hats off to him.

"For this week, it's impressive. This golf course, you really have to golf your ball and make some putts. He was obviously the best at that, and that's impressive. You know, to win a major this young in your career, he's got a lot of upside."

Collin Morikawa claimed his maiden major triumph with a thrilling two-stroke victory at the US PGA Championship on Sunday.

The American, 23, got the better of a tight pack bidding for victory at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco thanks to some late brilliance.

Morikawa's final five holes included an eagle and a birdie as he fired a final-round six-under 64 to finish at 13 under.

Previously a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, Morikawa – playing his second major – chipped in for birdie at 14 before producing an incredible tee shot at 16 and holding his nerve to make eagle.

Morikawa is the third youngest US PGA winner since 1946, only behind Jack Nicklaus (1963) and Rory McIlroy (2012).

It came under enormous pressure during a thrilling final round in which seven players were at one stage tied for the lead with the last pairing on the back nine.

Dustin Johnson, the 2016 U.S. Open champion, was among that group and look favoured for a second major triumph, but the American finished as runner-up with Paul Casey (66) at 11 under after a 68.

Matthew Wolff (65), Jason Day (66), Bryson DeChambeau (66), Tony Finau (66) and Scottie Scheffler (68) finished in the group tied for fourth.

Bidding to win a third straight US PGA title, Brooks Koepka struggled massively to a 74.

McIlroy (68) finished tied for 33rd at two under, a shot ahead of Tiger Woods, who fired his best round of the tournament with a 67.

With the final pairing on the back nine, seven players – Johnson, Day, Morikawa, Finau, Scheffler, Casey and Wolff – were tied for the lead at 10 under.

Wolff was the clubhouse leader following his 65, but Morikawa edged ahead thanks to some brilliance at the 14th, chipping in after leaving an approach short.

Scheffler, in the final pairing alongside Johnson, slipped out of the leading group following a bogey at 13.

Bryson DeChambeau, who made a red-hot start before dropping back-to-back shots at eight and nine, joined the group chasing Morikawa thanks to a birdie at 16.

Johnson dropped back to nine under after finding the bunker at 14, while Morikawa missed a chance to stretch his lead to two.

Despite finding two bunkers at the last, Day carded a 66 to join Wolff in the clubhouse lead.

Casey joined Morikawa at 11 under after a superb shot out of the bunker at 16 led to a birdie, but the latter produced some more magic.

Morikawa put his 293-yard tee shot at the par-four 16th to within seven feet and made the clutch putt to pull two clear, pars at the final two holes closing out his victory.

Morikawa's biggest hiccup of the day came when lifting the Wanamaker Trophy as the lid flew off during the presentation, but the victor was all smiles.

Rory McIlroy hit out at Brooks Koepka's "mind games" at the US PGA Championship, with the former world number one insisting he tries to respect everyone.

Koepka aimed a dig at US PGA rival and overnight leader Dustin Johnson prior to Sunday's final round, highlighting the fact that the latter had only won one major compared to his four.

Bidding to achieve a US PGA three-peat, Koepka was forced to eat his words as the American star fell out of contention in San Francisco, where Johnson continued to battle atop the leaderboard.

McIlroy, who ended his TPC Harding Park campaign in a tie for 33rd following his two-under-par 68, was taken aback by Koepka's comments.

"It's different, right, it's a very different mentality to bring to golf that I don't think a lot of golfers have," McIlroy said during his post-round news conference.

"I was watching the golf last night and heard the interview and was just sort of taken aback a little bit by sort of what he said and whether he was trying to play mind games or not. If he's trying to play mind games, he's trying to do it to the wrong person. I don't think DJ really gives much of a concern [to] that.

"But just different. I certainly try to respect everyone out here. Everyone is a great player. If you've won a major championship, you're a hell of a player. Doesn't mean you've only won one; you've won one, and you've had to do a lot of good things to do that.

"I mean, sort of hard to knock a guy that's got 21 wins on the PGA Tour, which is three times what Brooks has."

McIlroy has not managed a top-10 performance since finishing tied for fifth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March prior to the coronavirus-enforced break.

The four-time major champion signed off at the US PGA with an eagle, two birdies and a pair of bogeys.

McIlroy said: "I'm happy just to be out on the golf course. So many people that still can't get back to work. I was even saying there, even where I live in Florida, it feels like a bubble. Not much has been locked down, sort of been able to go about our daily lives with not much interruption.

"I'm happy to be playing golf and grateful that we're still able to play out here. I haven't played as well as I've wanted to, but it beats being sat on the couch at home, so I'll take it."

McIlroy has not won a major tournament since 2014 and when asked about his struggles, the 31-year-old replied: "Maybe I'm just not as good as I used to be.

"I really don't know. I feel like the golf that I've played in the majors has been sort of similar to the golf I've played outside of them, and I've won some big events and played well and had a good season last season.

"I can't really put my finger on it. I go out there and try my best every single day. Some days I play better than others, and just got to keep going and keep persisting and see if you can do better the next time."

The competition at the top of the US PGA Championship leaderboard showed little sign of dispersing as Dustin Johnson had Paul Casey for company at the summit through nine holes.

Overnight leader Johnson held a one-stroke advantage heading into Sunday's final round as he aims to add to his sole prior major triumph at the 2016 U.S. Open.

But a number of stars were in hot pursuit and, despite a birdie at the first, Johnson failed to pull clear of the chasing pack before the turn.

A bogey at the third opened the door a little wider for those with serious title interests, but the former world number one bounced back at the next to return to 10 under.

Casey was there, too, by the time Johnson reached the ninth, though, building on scores of 68, 67 and 68 with birdies at the fourth, fifth and 10th.

Cameron Champ and Bryson DeChambeau had each earlier moved into position to challenge the frontrunner.

Champ – a 25-year-old with just two PGA Tour wins to his name – joined Johnson on 10 under and put away a vital 18-foot putt for par at the eighth, but he left himself with an awful lot to do at the following hole and fell two strokes off the pace.

Meanwhile, DeChambeau spectacularly lost momentum just as he briefly pulled level with Johnson, back-to-back bogeys undoing his hard work.

A clutch of others were also in contention, however, with impressive consecutive birdies following the turn giving Jason Day a share of third, one shot back.

Tony Finau, Collin Morikawa and Scottie Scheffler were all also on nine under.

Matthew Wolff had been among the same throng following a rapid ascent up the leaderboard – managing three straight birdies from the seventh, then adding an eagle at the 10th – but twice missed achievable putts that would have secured a co-lead before falling away.

Much further down the leaderboard, Brooks Koepka's round was going from bad to worse, with the two-time defending champion falling out of the picture completely.

Having highlighted Johnson's lack of winning major experience on Saturday, Koepka subsequently struggled from the outset and was four over on the front nine, way back on three under for the week.

Defending champion Brooks Koepka struggled to find momentum early in his final round at the US PGA Championship as leader Dustin Johnson headed out on Sunday.

Koepka has won the tournament in each of the past two years and talked a good game after Saturday's third round, seemingly intending to increase the pressure on Johnson.

But the four-time major winner made an unconvincing start and was soon in trouble at the second, scrambling to a first bogey of the day.

That setback saw Koepka fall back to a tie for 11th on six under and suddenly facing somewhat of an uphill battle.

His woes at the second were exacerbated by a solid start from Johnson, who was four strokes clear of his rival after birdieing the first.

Playing partner Scottie Scheffler briefly pulled level with Johnson on nine under, yet the former world number one - whose only major win came at the 2016 U.S. Open - swiftly became the first player to reach 10 under.

Early pressure from further down the leaderboard came courtesy of Tony Finau and Bryson DeChambeau, who each reached eight under with birdie-birdie starts.

Dustin Johnson believes his experience will be crucial when he attempts to get the job done at the US PGA Championship on Sunday.

The American moved into a one-shot lead from Cameron Champ and Scottie Scheffler after a five-under 65 left him at nine under for the tournament following round three.

Johnson has just one major win to his name at the 2016 U.S. Open but has been a perennial challenger and has runners-up finishes at golf's other three majors.

The former world number one is confident that being in those situations in the past can aid his bid at TPC Harding Park.

"I definitely have experience in this situation that definitely will help tomorrow. I've been in the hunt a bunch of times in a major," he said. 

"I've got one major, so having that experience is definitely going to be beneficial tomorrow.

"But it's one of those things. I'm still going to have to go out and play really good golf. This is a tough golf course, the greens are getting really firm. They are fast. So I think the wind is going to blow again tomorrow, so it's going to play difficult.

"I look forward to the challenge and I will definitely be relying on a lot of that experience that I have."

Asked what will be different about the previous times he has led or co-led a major, Johnson replied: "I was definitely younger. I have been out here a while now.

"I've been in contention a lot, and I've got it done a lot of times. Tomorrow, it's no different. I'm going to have to play good golf if I want to win."

Champ is a two-time winner on the PGA Tour and is leading the driving average off the tee in 2020.

The 25-year-old said he is comfortable being at the top of leaderboards and is ready to embrace any nerves that come on Sunday.

"There's definitely a comfortability there. I've been in that situation a few times. I embrace it. I love it. Again, this is what we play for, to get in contention, to win tournaments," he said.

"Obviously this is a major…I'm sure there will be a little bit of nerves at some point throughout the round, but again, that's part of it."

Scheffler, who matched Johnson's 65, is aiming to become the first player since Keegan Bradley in 2011 to win the PGA Championship on his tournament debut.

"There's definitely some nerves but just got to try and handle them as best I can and go out and play," he said.

"I did a good job of that today just staying in the right frame of mind, hitting good, positive swings and made some nice birdies."

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