When Jason Kokrak reached the twelfth tee of his second round at the Houston Open, he was 8 under par and contending for the lead. When he walked off the 18th green, after a triple bogey, he had lost seven strokes to par. He promptly bogeyed the first hole of his third round to reach level par for the tournament. From that point forward he was the best player on the Memorial Park golf course and on Sunday, ran off four birdies in the middle of the back nine. Now that Kokrak has shored up his one long-term weakness – putting – he is someone to be reckoned with having posted three wins over the last 13 months.
Sam Burns was the golfer I thought “should win”. Burns was coming on strong late in the final round and was desperately trying to birdie the last hole to post 8 under. He ended doubling the 18th to finish T7. Of the players I thought “could win” (Im, Gooch, Scheffler, Wolff), Scheffler was looking good until a three-bogey run early in his inward nine left him two strokes back and a T2. Wolff was also right there and despite a final round ace, his driving left him and he fell back to T11. Gooch started with a 65 but came back to earth with an eventual T60. Im posted a T19 but was never a factor.
I suggested Brooks Koepka “would win”, and he surprisingly missed the cut on a course he had a hand in re-designing. He had also finished T5 last year. This may be the last time I promote Koepka to win a non-major Tour event. He just can’t seem to get his game and mind into these regular stops. My longshot picks (Pendrith, Straka) both missed the cut.