Jason Kokrac’s final shot for the Travelers Championship was useless, and led to an unusual disqualification from the tournament.
After hitting 327 yards off the left rugged road at the ninth hole of the TPC River Heights in Cromwell, Connecticut, his last hole of the day, the mighty Kokrak didn’t have much to play for and he showed. Having opened in 3-under 67 on Thursday, he was just past four of the day – damage to five pitches resulted in one of two double-bosses on his card – and would need a simple miracle to make the cut.
However, Kokrac, the 33rd ranked player in the world, was only 43 yards from the hole. His ‘all or nothing’ shot turned out to be a passing giant, flying over the green and across a road. ShotLink measured it as having traveled “87 yards into the unknown.”
But instead of going back to the original spot and taking a penalty and finishing the hole, Kokrac hit all the balls he had left, jumped in his car and drove home. He was disqualified from the tournament after he failed to finish the hole and score and failed to sign and return the scorecard.
The story of Kokrak’s Wedge in the Great Unknown would be a strange story in itself – who does that? – But then there is the possibility of a bigger blockage of legendary proportions.
The 37-year-old, who was sponsored by Golf Saudi even before Saudi-backed LIV Golf, was a thing and played at the Saudi International in February with PGA Tour approval, a long-rumored player to join the junior circuit. However, doing so would result in an indefinite suspension from the PGA Tour, where he has won three titles and more than $20 million since joining in 2012. Earlier this year, Kokrak was one of the most vocal players when he admitted he was in talks with LIV Golf and his goal was to make as much money as possible so he could retire at 44 and watch his kids grow up.
LIV Golf has three remaining sites at its 48-man field scheduled for next week in Portland at Pumpkin Ridge. Could Kucrack be one of the players to be named later?
If this was the last shot Kokrak hits on the PGA Tour — and that’s purely guesswork at this point — he’ll come down as an all-time picnic as well as a slap in the face on a tour that was pretty darn good for him — the $20 million won isn’t a bad thing.
Action Network’s Jason Sobel sent a text message with fellow Tour pro William McGirt, who played in the Kokrak group on Friday and witnessed its conclusion. According to Sobel’s report, McGirt said they were unaware that the ball had gone out of bounds and noted that since Kokrak would certainly have missed the cut, the decision not to actually end his run was made as a time-saving measure to help a group behind them who were already waiting in the fairway.
As Sobel noted, “There was no exit from the PGA Tour life.”
This has not yet been determined.