Why Sunday battle between Jason Kokrak and Xander Schauffele was a bit different

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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.”

CJ Cup at Shadow Creek: Full-field scores | Full coverage

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.”