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Jason Kokrak poses with the Leonard Trophy after winning the Charles Schwab Challenge on Sunday in Fort Worth, Texas. Michael Ainsworth/Associated Press

FORT WORTH, Texas — Jason Kokrak played in 233 PGA Tour events before getting his first victory. The big hitter didn’t have to wait nearly as long to win again, though this one may have been harder because he had to overcame a local favorite at Colonial.

Kokrak shot an even-par 70 in a final-group showdown Sunday with resurgent Jordan Spieth, winning the Charles Schwab Challenge at 14-under 266. He was two strokes better than Spieth, who bogeyed the final hole after hitting his approach from the rough over the green and into the water.

“You stay in the moment and it’s a golf course. You’re playing the golf course, you’re playing yourself. You’re not really playing Jordan,” Kokrak said. “But for where we got to in comparison to some of the other players, I knew it was going to be a boxing match and see who was going to come out on top.”

A huge crowd followed the only contending group all day, most of them waiting to erupt for Dallas-native Spieth, who began the round with a one-stroke lead before a bogey-filled 73. Kokrak said he heard some negative comments and knew he “definitely was not the favorite,” but did have a high school buddy and a cousin’s friend supporting him on the course.

“Naturally, you’re going to pull for the hometown kid. I appreciate it. I appreciate the gamesmanship,” Kokrak said. “Jordan was amazing all day. He’s a true champion and he’s won multiple times and is an incredible player. I’m glad to be standing victorious above a guy that’s so good.”

Kokrak, playing in his 16th tournament since winning the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek in October, joined Bryson DeChambeau and Stewart Cink as the only players with two wins on the PGA Tour this season.

Spieth, the 2016 winner at Colonial, was a runner-up there for the third time after leading each of the first three rounds.

“I didn’t play well at all, quite simply. I could have shot even par today and won the golf tournament, but from the very get-go, just a really bad start, and then tried to fight my way through it,” Spieth said. “I was just really off with my golf swing. I really lost it this weekend. You just have to be in control around Colonial.”

It was still his eighth top-10 finish in his last 11 starts this year, one more top 10 than he had the previous two seasons combined.

Along with the $1.35 million winner’s check and plaid jacket, Kokrak got a customized restored 1946 Schwab Power Wagon, a truck with 40-inch tires and a model date matching the first year of Colonial, the longest-running PGA event at the same venue.

“I’m a big guy with a big truck with a big jacket and a big paycheck. So I guess everything’s bigger in Texas, right,” he said.

Charley Hoffman had a closing 65 to finish in a four-way third. Patton Kizzire (67), Sebastian Munoz (68) and Ian Poulter (68) were also at 10-under 270.

LPGA: Ally Ewing won the LPGA Match Play in North Las Vegas, Nevada, beating Sophia Popov 2 and 1 for her second tour victory.

Ewing won the difficult par-4 14th with a birdie to take a 2-up lead and closed out her German rival with a double-bogey halve on the par-3 17th.

In the semifinals, Ewing beat Ariya Jutanugarn 3 and 2, and Popov edged Shanshan Feng 1 up. Feng conceded the third-place match to Jutanugarn because of heat and fatigue, with the U.S. Women’s Open only days away in San Francisco.

CHAMPIONS TOUR: Alex Cejka won the Senior PGA Championship for his second straight major championship, thriving on accurate and powerful ball-striking and deft touch around the demanding greens at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Cejka shot a 3-under 67 for a four-stroke victory over Tim Petrovic, three weeks after he beat Steve Stricker in a playoff in the Regions Tradition in Alabama.

Cejka finished at 8-under 272.

EUROPEAN TOUR: Bernd Wiesberger retained his title at the Made in HimmerLand event by shooting a 7-under 64 to win by five shots in Farso, Denmark.

The Austrian golfer won the tournament in 2019, and it was canceled last year because of the pandemic.

 

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