|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.
By ryan buck
After a rare week off from the PGA Tour, Warren native and JFK graduate Jason Kokrak will compete in the BMW Championship at this week’s Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest, Ill.
The BMW Championship is the second event in the FedEx Cup. He currently sits in 95th place in the FedEx Cup Standings.
Kokrak, 67th on the tour money list, has had an eventful two months that saw him respond from consecutive missed cuts to a near-win at The Barclays.
He capitalized on the week off after the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston.
“I feel really good,” he said by phone. “I had a relaxing week off and practiced a few times, but nothing too crazy; just recharge the batteries. I’m ready to go this week.”
Kokrak missed the cut at the PGA Championship and the Wyndham Championship in August, but his final round run at The Barclays at Liberty National Golf Club, N.J., nearly brought him to the top of the leaderboard where he finished in a tie for eighth place.
“If I get some putts to drop, I’m in a playoff with [The Barclays winner] Adam Scott.
“It gives me huge confidence. I’m putting well and giving myself birdie opportunities.”
His goal at the beginning of this season, his second full one on tour, was to keep his PGA Tour card.
He has since secured that and is looking for more, but his focus has not waned.
“I put pressure on myself in the middle of the season, but I played well,” he said. “I proved I can put myself in contention.
“It’s still the same mind set. I have my tour card locked up and I’d like to finish as high as possible in the FedEx Cup. It’s playing stress-free golf the rest of the year.”
This is his first stop at Conway Farms, but he says he can overcome that at this point in his career even when fellow pros have played each tour stop multiple times.
This week, though, he’s gotten more ticket requests than usual as his brother and other relatives and friends, all living in Chicago, will be in the crowd.
Aside from the course conditions, he knows what else a Chicago course will bring.
“It’s going to be windy, but that bodes well for me because I can shape my shots pretty well.”
Kokrak tees off at 11:15 a.m. today. He’s played in 24 tournaments this season, with his best finish coming at the AT&T National in June.
The tournament will be broadcast on The Golf Channel and NBC.