|Birthday:||May 22, 1985|
Jason Kokrak was raised in Warren and played high school golf at JFK High School in Warren where he twice led his team to the Ohio Boy's state championship as Division III medalist. He went on to play college golf at Xavier University in Cincinnati and graduated in 2007. During his college career, he won both the 2006 and 2007 Ohio Amateur titles. Kokrak turned professional after graduation.
During the 2007 U.S. Amateur, Kokrak led all players with a score of 137 during the 36 hole match play qualifier at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. That same year, he made an appearance in the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club, when he successfully came through sectional and regional qualifying.
In 2011, he exploded onto the pro golf scene over the second half of the Nationwide Tour season — winning two events and nearly capturing the season-ending Tour Championship. It allowed him to finish 4th on the Nationwide money list, which earned him 2012 PGA Tour membership.
Jason Kokrak rebounded from a poor start and played his final 14 holes in 3-under par, finishing 2-under 70 in the first round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.
Kokrak, the Warren JFK graduate in his first year on the PGA Tour, had one of his better putting days in weeks, putting him in a tie for 33rd place at the TPC Louisiana course.
His average of 1.786 putts per hole was still slightly above the field average but significantly better than his season statistics to date.
He also had a 77.78 percent accuracy in greens in regulation.
Kokrak, starting on No. 10, bogeyed his first and fourth (No. 13) holes, but birdied No. 11 and No. 18 to make the turn at even.
He then made birdies on Nos. 1 and 7.
On No. 18, a 585-yard par-5, Kokrak blasted his drive 326 yards, then got within 23 yards of the pin with his second shot. He had a short 3 1/2-foot putt for birdie.
Kokrak then made an 8-footer on 1 and a 4-footer on 7 for his final two birdies of the day.
Ken Duke and Cameron Tringale topped the leaderboard at 7-under 65, leaving defending champion Bubba Watson six strokes back in his first tournament since winning the Masters.
Tringale birdied the final four holes and finished the round with eight birdies and a bogey. Duke had seven birdies in a bogey-free round. Both players are winless on the PGA Tour.
Steve Stricker, Ernie Els, Daniel Chopra and Chris Stroud were a stroke back at 66. Ben Curtis, the Texas Open winner Sunday in San Antonio, was another shot behind along with John Rollins and Jason Dufner.
Watson, admitting to fatigue, had four birdies and three bogeys in his 71.Watson, playing the back nine first, was 2 over through the first seven holes. He birdied the par-5 18th and followed with three more birdies and a bogey on the front nine.
Second-ranked Luke Donald opened with a 73.
Tringale made the turn at 2 under and had a 5-under 31 on the back nine, highlighted by a 25-foot birdie putt on the par-4 15th and a 20-footer on the difficult par-3 17th.