WEEK 48 Phil Mickelson 25 consecutive years inside the World Top 50

Week 42

KOKRAK BREAKS INTO WORLD TOP 30

PGA Tour - The CJ Cup @ Shadow Creek

Jason Kokrak won the CJ Cup @ Shadow Creek claiming his first PGA TOUR victory and jumping to a career best of World No.26.

He matched the best round of the tournament with an 8-under 64 to overcome a three-shot deficit at the start and win a duel on the back nine with Xander Schauffele.

Kokrak began to pull away with four straight birdies on the front nine, and birdie putts from 20 feet and 18 feet to start the back nine stretched his lead to two shots.

Schauffele answered with three straight birdies, the last one a 45-footer by using his putter from the thick collar of the 13th green to catch him. Then, it was a matter of who blinked first.

Kokrak, a 35-year-old from Ohio, all but clinched it when he drilled his drive into the fairway on the par-5 18th, leaving only a short iron to 25 feet. He two-putted for his final birdie of a round he will not soon forget.

European Tour - Scottish Championship presented by AXA

Adrian Otaegui produced a brilliant closing round of 63 to storm to his first 72-hole stroke play victory on the European Tour at the Scottish Championship presented by AXA. Otaegui moved from World No. 248 to World No.157.

The Spaniard has shown himself to be an expert at head to head battles, winning both the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play and the Belgian Knockout, and he showed all those skills again as it came down to a three man contest at Fairmont St Andrews.

Otaegui entered the day four shots off the lead of Matt Wallace but eight birdies in 11 holes from the fifth helped him finish at 23 under, four clear of the Englishman.

Aaron Rai continued his recent excellent form to finish at 17 under, a shot clear of fellow Englishmen Chris Paisley and Garrick Porteous, with the latter challenging for the title until falling away down the stretch.

After an opening round of 62, Otaegui's 63 bookended his week beautifully and saw him get over the line after three runner up finishes in stroke play events, including this season's English Championship.

A three time Qualifying School and one time European Challenge Tour graduate, Otaegui has truly established himself on Tour since being a joint winner of the Q School in 2015, and he now has a stroke play, match play and medal match play victory on his CV.

Japan Golf Tour – Japan Open Golf Championship

Yuki Inamori won the Japan Open Golf Championship by 1 shot ahead of Hideto Tanihara.

Inamori earned 32 Ranking points at the designated Flagship tournament, moving back into the Top 200 at World No.167 from 499.

All Thailand Golf Tour – Sigha Laguna Phuket Open

Pawin Ingkharadit won his third title on All Thailand Golf Tour with a one-shot victory at Singha Laguna Phuket Open with a final round 67 to win on 11-under 269. He  jumps 1035 spots to World No.843,

Witchayanon, who was two shots in the lead after 54 holes, finished second at 10-under after he posted a 71.

One stroke down further were Atiruj Winaicharoenchai (64) and Panuphol Pittayarat (70), who shared third on 9-under at the final event of the All Thailand Golf Tour 2020.

Pawin got 300,000 baht at the 2-million baht tournament and five world ranking points for his third ATGT win after victories at Singha Championship 2018 and Singha Hua Hin Open 2015. Witchayanon, who is still waiting for this first ATGT title, took home 190,000 baht and three points.

Pawin, turning pro in 2011, said that the key for his win is to focus on his own game.

“I have tried to concentrate on my own game. That helps me a lot,” said the Suphaburi native, who made five birdies and two bogeys.

“My iron play has improved a lot this week and that was a key. And on the back nine, I tried to play safe as much as I could.”

PGA Tour of Australasia – Nexus Risk WA Open

Starting the day two shots adrift of overnight leader Brody Martin, Hayden Hopewell stumbled out of the gates with an opening bogey but defied Royal Fremantle’s brutal finish to birdie 16, 17 and 18 to claim a one-shot win at his home club from fellow amateur Haydn Barron with Martin a shot further back in third.

Hopewell claimed 4 Ranking points jumping 671 spots to a career best of World No. 845.

Midway through the third and final round Martin looked to be well in control with a two-shot advantage at the turn but both Hopewell and Barron applied late pressure to edge to the top of the leaderboard.

Barron’s birdie at the par-5 closing hole tied Hopewell at 6-under to raise the possibility of a playoff but only briefly, Hopewell answering with a birdie of his own, two-putting from 20-feet to claim his first ISPS HANDA PGA Tour of Australasia tournament win.

Smarting from a bogey at the par-4 ninth, the 18-year-old rattled off six birdies over his closing nine holes but it was the shot he picked up at the par-3 17th that proved most decisive.

All week players have struggled to hold the green of the 175-metre 17th but once he did, Hopewell had the self-confidence to step forward and make one when it mattered most.