10 Notes to Know: October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020
Justin Ray
  1. In his 233rd career PGA Tour start, Jason Kokrak broke through with his first career victory, taking the CJ CUP at Shadow Creek. Kokrak played the last 21 holes in 10-under-par, not making a single bogey during that stretch. He hit 21 of his last 22 greens in regulation for the tournament.
  1. Kokrak was lights out with his putter, gaining +10.3 strokes on the field for the tournament on the greens. It’s the most strokes gained putting by a PGA Tour winner since Patrick Reed gained +11.8 strokes putting at the WGC-Mexico Championship in February.
  1. Kokrak entered the week with the third-most official earnings in PGA Tour history by a player who had never won a tournament (more than $13M). His victory pulls him away from that admirable-yet-dubious distinction. The three players with the most earnings now in Tour history without a win are Brian Davis ($13.37M), Briny Baird ($13.25M) and Jeff Overton ($12.79M).
  1. Xander Schauffele birdied seven of his first 13 holes in the final round, but wound up finishing second. It was Schauffele’s eighth runner-up finish on the PGA Tour over the last four seasons, most of any player during that span. Three players are tied for second with six apiece – Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Tony Finau.
  1. Phil Mickelson made it two-for-two on the PGA Tour Champions, winning the Dominion Energy Charity Classic by three strokes over Mike Weir. Mickelson is the third player to win his first two PGA Tour Champions starts, joining Bruce Fleischer in 1999 and Jim Furyk earlier this year.
  1. Mickelson’s stat line for the week was quintessentially him: he led the field in driving distance, birdies and putting average, and ranked dead last in the field in fairways hit. Mickelson is expected to play in the PGA Tour’s Zozo Championship next week.
  1. Adrian Otaegui shot a final round 63 to win the Scottish Championship, his third career European Tour title. Otaegui’s blistering Sunday was the lowest final round score by a winner on the European Tour since January, when Branden Grace shot a closing 62 to win in Johannesburg.
  1. Otaegui gained nearly +3.4 strokes on the field per round tee-to-green, best of any player in the field at the Scottish Championship. He was also lethal with the putter on Sunday, ranking second in the field in the final round in strokes gained putting (+3.34).
  1. The PGA Tour next shifts to California for the Zozo Championship, a tournament originally scheduled to be held in Japan but moved due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tiger Woods is the defending champion – it is Woods’ first start as a defending champion in a PGA Tour event since the 2014 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
  1. Woods is not expected to play again after the Zozo Championship until he defends his Masters title in November. The last time Tiger played consecutive worldwide events as the defending champion was in 2007, when he made four starts in a row as the defending champion (Open Championship, WGC Invitational, PGA Championship, Deutsche Bank).