The team of Kevin Na and Jason Kokrak suddenly turned into a birdie machine.
Kokrak sank a six-foot birdie putt on the last hole to complete a 12-under-par 60 in the fourball format and they claimed a one-stroke victory over Billy Horschel and Sam Burns in the 33rd QBE Shootout at Tiburon Golf Club in Naples, Fla., and received the trophy from tournament host Greg Norman.
“We got off to a poor start,” said Na, who skipped his senior year at Diamond Bar High in Southern California to turn pro in 2001. “We kept telling ourselves there are plenty of birdie holes out there. I started making some birdies and we got hot.
“I started making some putts and hit some really good shots in there and it was just one after another after another and I just kept going. That chip-in (for birdie) on No. 9 was huge. I think that was a tough hole to birdie and for me to chip it in, I felt like we really gained one there.”
Said Kokrak of Na’s chip-in on the ninth hole: “He told me on nine he was going to hoop it after he missed the green, and he sure did, it was right in the middle. It was pretty impressive stuff to watch that and kind of inspired me a little bit to get the train going. I made a couple myself.
“I was definitely leaning on Kevin big time on the front nine and going into that back nine there. He hit every shot in the book and I think I got a nice little swing thought on the back nine, and I made a nice couple of putts down the stretch,”
Kokrak and Na appeared to be out of the championship picture after a bogey on the fifth hole left them five shots back, but Na made seven of their nine straight birdies and they birdied 12 of the last 13 holes to post a score of 33-under 183.
Horschel chipped in for a birdie on the last hole to cap a 61 with Burns as they birdied 10 of the last 11 holes, while defending champions Matt Kuchar and Harris English, who have won this event three times, eagled No. 17 to highlight a 62 and finished two shots back in a tie for third with first- and second-round leaders Jason Day and Marc Leishman, who also eagled the 17th in a 65.
Max Homa of Valencia and Kevin Kisner birdied seven of the last eight holes for a 61 to wind up five down in a tie for fifth with Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland and Corey Conners of Canada, who birdied five holes on the back nine in a 64, and Will Zalatoris and Sean O’Hair birdied four of the last six to cap a 63 and were seven behind in solo seventh.
Ian Poulter of England and Charles Howell III birdied six of the last nine for a 63 to finish nine shots behind in eighth, followed by Bubba Watson and Lexi Thompson, the only woman in the field, who shot 68 to wind up 10 down, and Hudson Swafford and Brian Harman, who were 11 shots back in 10th after a 63.
Matt Jones of Australia and Ryan Palmer totaled 65, as did K.H. Lee of South Korea and Brandt Snedeker, and they shared 11th, 12 strokes off the pace.
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