If Jason Kokrak secures his first PGA Tour victory this weekend at the Valspar Championship, he'll look back on his hole-in-one on Saturday as one of the biggest highlights of his career. There's a lot of golf to be played, but an ace at the 15th hole on the Copperhead course at Innisbrook gave Kokrak a share of the lead late in his third round.
Kokrak was 3-under on his third round through 14 holes as he stepped up to the 219-yard 15th hole, sitting two behind the lead, about to enter one of golf's toughest closing stretches. That's when Kokrak registered one of the best highlights of his PGA Tour career:
We already saw the miraculous happen earlier in the week in Tampa, as Russell Knox made an albatross in the first round. Kokrak just one-upped that effort.
Kokrak's ace is his second in a PGA Tour round, following an ace in the 2013 RBC Canadian Open. The big-hitting Ohio native told Golf Digest once about his hole-in-one on a par 4 (!!) in a practice round at Sea Island ahead of the RSM Classic. Of course, that one didn't count. This one will in a big way.
The crowded leaderboard at the Valspar Championship got even more crowded after the Kokrak ace. Kokrak has two runners-up and 21 top-10 finishes in his PGA Tour career. If he can remain in contention on Sunday, he'll credit that stroke of fortune at Innisbrook's 15th hole—right before the finishing stretch of three holes called "The Snake Pit"—as helping him toward securing his first PGA Tour victory. Kokrak finished his third round with a 66, finishing up at 7-under par.
"It went in like a putt—lot of fun when you can make a hole-in-one like that on tour," Kokrak told NBC after his round.