Kramer Hickok earns first victory at DAP Championship presented by NewBrick
September 02, 2018
By Preston Smith, PGATOUR.COM
- September 02, 2018
Kramer Hickok wins by 3 shots at DAP Championship
BEACHWOOD, Ohio – After leading each of the previous three rounds, Kramer Hickok closed out his first victory at the DAP Championship presented by NewBrick with a closing 2-under 68 finishing three strokes clear of the field at 14-under 266. With the win, Hickok becomes the first player to go wire-to-wire in 2018 on the Web.com Tour.
After a shaky start with two consecutive bogeys to begin his round, Hickok birdied Nos. 6, 8 and 9 to make the turn at 1-under on the day. The 26-year-old followed it up with another birdie on No. 10, his fourth day in a row to birdie the par-4, 358-yard hole.
“Wire-to-wire has been one of my goals,” Hickok said. “Not only to win but to face that pressure being on top of the leaderboard every single day and know that you can play to your best ability is one of the things that I wanted to come to in my practice and the mental work that I do. It’s been a long way coming. Earlier in the year, I kind of fell back when I had the lead and felt a little uncomfortable. I still did today, but it’s nice to be able to put up a good round.”
Hickok added another birdie on No. 12 to reach 15-under before a late bogey on No. 17 added some drama down the stretch. Ultimately, a par on No. 18 made him the Web.com Tour’s 20th first-time winner of the year and ninth rookie winner.
The University of Texas alum compiled impressive accuracy numbers throughout the week. Hickok ranked second in driving accuracy hitting 46 of 56 fairways. He also added 57 out of 72 greens in regulation to rank T3 through the week. Hickok, who lived with 11-time PGA TOUR champion Jordan Spieth for the past couple of years, alluded to his former teammate’s competitiveness as a driving factor.
“In 2015, he had a year like Tiger Woods,” Hickok said. “He won five times and two majors and I’m seeing what he’s doing first hand. I’m comparing myself to him and saying, ‘this is what he does to reach the highest level and I’m going to do that and twice as much.’ If I can do that, I can catch up to what these other guys are doing and I just tried to outwork him. I was learning from what he was doing. He’s getting the most out of every hour and I started to develop my practice that way. Being in that house with him for two to three years, I don’t think I’d be holding this trophy if I wasn’t.”
While Sunday marked a first Web.com Tour victory, Hickok is no stranger to winning. He earned the Order of Merit title on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada in 2017 after claiming two wins and three runner-up finishes. His successful season allowed him to gain fully exempt status on the Web.com Tour this season.
“The Mackenzie Tour was huge; I wouldn’t be here holding the trophy without the Mackenzie Tour,” Hickok said. “For me, I learned so much. I learned how to compete, I learned how to travel, I learned when to work out, when to rest and just learned how to become a professional golfer. Most importantly, I learned how to win and I was looking back on those rounds when I won and it certainly helped me today.”
A week after earning the top finish of any member of The 25 at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, Hickok continued his ascent up the combined money list. The win moves him to $373,635 on the season, good for second on the combined money list behind Sungjae Im. Hickok was 23rd on the list as recently as two weeks ago.
A pair of former PGA TOUR champions, Hunter Mahan and Matt Jones, earned their return to the TOUR with T2 finishes at 11-under 269. Mahan made the turn at 3-under to threaten the lead early before a bogey on No. 18 sealed his fate. Jones began his round with a bang, holing out for eagle at the par-4 first.
Seth Reeves, a 27-year-old Georgia Tech alum, eagled the par-5 ninth for the second straight day to jump into contention and ultimately earn his first PGA TOUR card after a top-10 finish last week. Former Yellow Jacket teammate Anders Albertson, a member of The 25, was on hand see him get his card.
“I just wanted to make sure I signed my scorecard,” Reeves joked. “It feels good, and honestly, it hasn’t really set in yet. I knew at least 3-under would be good enough, and then I came out here to warm up and this guy named Anders Albertson was finishing up his 8-under round. I wanted to go beat Anders so that was my motivation.”
Stephan Jaeger (T4) also earned his return to the PGA TOUR, joined by returnees Max Homa (T6) and Denny McCarthy (T9). In all, six players earned entrance to the PGA TOUR.
- Sunday weather: Partly Cloudy, High of 88, Winds SW 8-12 mph.
- This week’s purse is $1,000,000, with $180,000 going to the champion.
- This week marks the second week of the Web.com Tour Finals, a four-event series that concludes at the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Florida, Sept. 20-23. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards were awarded on August 19 following the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz. An additional 25 cards are up for grabs during the four Finals events, as well as positioning for all 50 cards.