Golfer who got his start in Warren reflects on weekend’s big PGA Tour win

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After nine years on tour, Jason Kokrak finally finished first

Jason Kokrak holds the championship trophy after winning the CJ Cup golf tournament at Shadow Creek Golf Course Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in North Las Vegas

Jason Kokrak holds the championship trophy after winning the CJ Cup golf tournament at Shadow Creek Golf Course Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in North Las Vegas (Credit: AP David Becker).

(WKBN) – A golfer who first started playing on courses around Warren won his first PGA tournament.

After nine years on tour, Jason Kokrak finally finished first. 

On Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas, Kokrak rolled home a three-foot birdie putt. Then, it was on to the congratulations for winning his first PGA tournament — the CJ Cup at Shadow Creek.

“It’s been crazy the last couple days. I mean, so many phone calls, so many messages, all the congratulatory messages. It’s been really nice. I didn’t realize I had that many friends,” Kokrak said.

WKBN spoke with Kokrak from California, where he’s preparing for this week’s tournament. He first came on the local golfing scene at Warren JFK High School, where he won back-to-back state championships.

Jason Kokrak (old photo) 3
Photos of Kokrak courtesy of Warren JFK High School, where he played golf.

Kokrak remembered spending his days golfing at the Trumbull Country Club and Candywood.

“It’ll be a nice homecoming when I finally get to come home next week,” he said.

Kokrak now lives in Hudson — south of Cleveland — and that’s where he’ll come after next week’s tournament. 

But there’s not much time for rest. His win means for the first time, he has qualified for The Masters — both this year in the middle of November and next year’s Masters as well. 

This year’s, though, will be played without spectators. 

“Every little kid sitting on the putting green thinks about making that putt on the 18th green to win The Masters, so it’ll definitely be surreal. It’s a little disappointing I don’t get family and friends to come down and cheer me on,” he said.

Jason Kokrak (old photo) 2

Kokrak had come close to winning a PGA Tour event several times but always fell a few putts short, until Sunday.

“But this time, I just told myself, just let it happen and take each hole for what it is, and we’ll add them up at the end.”

And this time, he added them up.

Jason Kokrak (old photo) 5

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