Pace of play is always an issue on the PGA Tour, but when an injury causes a group to play a man down, that pace can be even more exaggerated. Case in point: Sunday’s penultimate group at the CJ Cup.
Just two holes into the final round at Shadow Creek, Jason Day withdrew with a neck injury, forcing Jason Kokrak and Xander Schauffele to play the rest of the round as a twosome.
“Day left us kind of early. Kokrak’s about a foot taller than I am, so we’re doing our old-man shuffle walking around, trying to walk as slow as possible, stall,” Schauffele said. “We talked all day. I think I was lucky and so was he, we got along really well and we definitely fed off each other and it definitely showed in our scores.”
The odd pairing turned out well for both players. Schauffele closed with a 66 to finish alone in second place, two strokes behind Kokrak, who shot a final-round 64 to win his first PGA Tour event.
“Kokrak and I were aware it was going to be a really long day. It’s been a long day the last three days, so today playing a two-ball in a threesome tournament was very slow,” Schauffele said.
“I think we managed to pull it off.”