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Jason Kokrak Is Canadian Sort Of



When Jason Kokrak (Titleist Pro V1) won the Houston Open last week, he was identified as Canadian, which is factually true but also somewhat misleading.

I mention this because I’m a Canadian and proud of it. Canada has some dynamic talent on the PGA Tour with the likes of Corey Conners (Titleist Pro V1), Mackenzie Hughes (Titleist Pro V1), Adam Hadwin (Callaway Chrome Soft X), Roger Sloan (Titleist Pro V1x), Graham DeLaet (Titleist Pro V1) and Nick Taylor (TaylorMade TP5), to note some of the prominent ones.

Kokrak was born in North Bay, a city with a population of just under 54,000 that is about five hours or so north of Toronto. If ever there was a town with a name that truly represents Canada, I’d say North Bay sums it up.

But, here’s the whole story about Kokrak’s nationality, and I give credit to Bob Weeks, a top Canadian golf journalist for the background. Kokrak was born in North Bay while his mother, Teresa, was visiting relatives there. The birth happened a tad sooner than expected. So technically he’s a Canadian, sort of. Two weeks after the birth, mother and son returned home to Ohio.

So, for all intents and purposes, Kokrak is really an American, but if he wins a tournament Canada can refer to him as a Canadian.

Incidentally, the PGA lists the countries of birth beside players names with a flag. In Kokrak’s case, it was the American flag. We wonder if there was ever a golf battle between Canada and the U.S., which country would Kokrak represent? This has happened in other sports in which Canadian natives have chosen to play for other countries because of their family lineage.

Kokrak has won three tournaments in his last 27, which is rather remarkable given that he went winless in his first 233.

“I guess you can call me an underdog, but the last couple of years I’ve played some pretty solid golf,” he said afterward.

I was selfishly hoping Scottie Scheffler (Titleist Pro V1) would win because I picked him in a recent blog as one of my breakout players for the 2021-2022 PGA season. He had a one-stroke lead going into the final of the Houston Open, but finished tied for second with a one-under par round. Kokrak blistered the Memorial Park Golf Course shooting five-under par.

DECHAMBEAU THE INVENTOR: Bryson DeChambeau (Bridgestone Tour B X) has a video on his YouTube channel displaying Cobra irons created with a 3D Printer. With all he has done to change the game, I’m beginning to think he is to golf what Elon Musk is to electric vehicles and rocket ships. Bet you never expected to see Elon Musk’s name in a golf blog?


Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko is an award-winning writer who has published nine books, three of them bestsellers. He has been involved in sports writing for more than 35 years and has interviewed many superstar athletes. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and enjoys watching golf and playing it.

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