Kokrak wins PGA Tour's Houston Open

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Jason Kokrak has delivered when it mattered most at the Houston Open, with four late birdies propelling him to a third PGA Tour victory in the past 13 months.

The American carded a 5-under 65 on Sunday to finish at 10-under 270 and secure a two-shot victory.

Two shots behind with six holes to play, Kokrak delivered all the right shots to pull away from a fading Scottie Scheffler and Kevin Tway.

"Very blessed to be standing here," Kokrak said.

Australian Cameron Smith birdied holes 17 and 18 to be the highest-placed non-American in Texas with a three-under 69 lifting him to a share of 15th at 3-under.

He was one shot better than countryman Marc Leishman - who started the final round just three shots off the lead but slid to tied-19th after a two-over 72, which included a double-bogey 7 on the 16th.

Kokrak got hot with the putter on the difficult back nine at Memorial Park.

He made a 13-footer for birdie at No.13, a 23-footer at No.14, a 3-footer after a nice wedge shot at No.15 and a 3-footer at No.16.

"It feels good to finish off the way I did," he said.

"I drove it better than I have the last couple of months, but the putter was the great equaliser."

Scheffler, chasing after his first PGA Tour victory, had a two-shot lead when he made the turn.

He didn't hit a green in regulation until the 15th, making three soft bogeys that left him too far behind to make a late run.

Scheffler did manage to birdie the final hole for a 69 and a tie for second with Kevin Tway (68).

Martin Trainer, who made only his ninth cut in 71 starts since his victory in the 2019 Puerto Rico Open, took the lead on the 11th hole by rolling in a 70-foot birdie but he couldn't make up ground on the some of the scoring holes.

Kramer Hickok shot 69 to finish fourth at 7-under 273 while Martin Trainer, who held a share of the lead after the first and second rounds, shot 70 and Joel Dahmen shot 65 to tie for fifth at 6-under.

Kokrak went 232 starts on the PGA Tour before his first victory, and now has three in his past 27 starts dating to the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek north of Las Vegas a year ago in October.

He also won at Colonial in May and will move up to 22nd in the world when the rankings are updated on Monday.

with Reuters

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