Na, Kokrak roar to victory in QBE Shootout
Miami (AFP) – Kevin Na and Jason Kokrak combined for 13 birdies in a 12-under par 60 in the four-ball final round of the QBE Shootout Sunday to win the unofficial PGA Tour event by one stroke.
Issued on: Modified:
Even for the day through five holes, the American duo dominated the Tiburon Golf Club course in Naples, Florida, from there. Na birdied seven holes in a row as they seized the lead and Kokrak birdied five of the last six holes as they finished two strokes in front of Americans Billy Horschel and Sam Burns.
Australians Marc Leishman and Jason Day, who led after each of the first two rounds, settled for a tie for third with Harris English and Matt Kuchar -- the defending champions who were gunning for a fourth title in the event hosted by Greg Norman.
"We got off to a poor start, and we just kept telling ourselves there's plenty of birdie holes out there, kind of kept cheering for each other," Na said.
"I started making some birdies and we got hot."
Na's run of seven straight birdies starting at the sixth hole included one from the fringe at the seventh and a chip-in from off the green at the ninth.
After his birdies at 10, 11 and 12 put them in the lead, it was Kokrak's turn.
After his back-to-back birdies at 13 and 14 Kokrak tapped in for birdie at 16 and 17. Crucially, after Na had missed his birdie attempt at 18 Kokrak drilled his own birdie putt to cap their 60 and give them a two-shot cushion.
They needed it, because Horschel, after nearly finding the water at 18, holed out for a birdie.
Horschel had chipped in for birdie at the ninth, and birdied after almost acing the par-three 12th.
He and Burns finished with an 11-under 62 that gave them solo second on 32-under par.
Na said that during his birdie streak he'd looked at Kokrak and asked "hey, man, when are you going to show up?
"He said 'I'll be there on the back nine when you really need me, and he did. We ham-and-egged it nicely."
Leishman and Day, who had a one-shot lead after the first-round scramble and a three-shot lead after Saturday's modified alternate-shot second round, struggled to get things going.
They had three birdies on the front nine and stayed in the hunt with back-to-back birdies at the 13th and 14th. They were just one back after Leishman rattled in an eagle putt at the 17th, but wouldn't get any closer as they closed with a seven-under 65.
That left them on 31-under, tied with Kuchar and English, who picked up six shots in five holes with birdies at 13 through 16 and an eagle at 17 on the way to a 10-under par 62.
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