Jason Kokrak fully intends to return to competition at next week's PGA Championship, Rotoworld has learned in an email from Kevin Canning of The Legacy Agency, Kokrak's management firm.
"Jason is playing next week," Canning wrote on Tuesday. "First week back. He hasn't walked 18 holes yet, but he has played a full round. He’s probably about 75 percent but he wasn't going to miss a major so we will see how it goes." Kokrak has been out of action since having surgery for a sport hernia. He last pegged it at THE PLAYERS where he missed the cut. Thanks to two top 10s and another six top 20s, he's still 73rd in the FedExCup standings. While he's perhaps not a wise fantasy investment at Valhalla, it's good news that he's far enough along in his recovery to give it a go.
Jason Day continues to deal with an injury to his left thumb upon arrival at this week's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
All bets should be off the Aussie this week as he's forced to play through pain that has dogged him for months. He pieced together a T58 at The Open Championship, but was seen at least once cringing due to the discomfort after making contact in the rough. "I'm still trying to be able to practice fully," he said. "I'm getting in practice but not at 100 percent and it's just really really frustrating." While he stated that an MRI on Monday revealed improvement in the thumb, he's making a significant modification this week. "I am trying to change my grip quickly and it feels awful right now, so I'm not to sure how I'm going to go this week," Day added. "Normally I come in a lot more prepared, but it is what it is. When you have an injury you have to work around it. I'm just trying to see where the game is for next week. And try to work on the positioning of the hands to bring less pain."
Jason Dufner acknowledged to today that an MRI revealed two bulging discs in his neck, according to PGATOUR.com's Brian Wacker.
"It makes it pretty tough," Dufner said. "Lack of sleep, lack of motion, lack of strength, a lot of different issues when you're dealing with your neck." He added that the discomfort surfaced the week of the Masters. He won't need surgery and he was administered a shot on Monday to help relieve the pain. Obviously, this isn't good news, but at least gamers have time to adjust lineups accordingly for the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. He tied for fourth at Firestone last year before emerging with the title at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill the following week.
Sam Saunders enters the Stonebrae Classic on the Web.com Tour ranked 33rd on the money list.
It's no secret that the top 25 at season's end earn a PGA TOUR card, which is well within Saunders' grasp with a strong finish to the year. He tied for 50th in this event back in 2012, so there is a modicum of course history in play. The Clemson product has also cashed in his last six starts, so it's fair to expect that streak to continue. Most golf fans recognize him as the grandson of Arnold Palmer, but Saunders is doing his best to carve out a name for himself with his play on the Web.com Tour.
J.J. Henry won the 2012 Barracuda Championship and is back in the field at Montrêux Golf and Country Club this week.
That he has a recent win on this layout tells anyone all they need to know about his ability on this particular layout. At 132nd in the current FedExCup standings, he doesn't need a win to earn a spot in the FEC Playoffs in a few weeks, but he does need a solid finish. He's made his last four cuts, including a T43 in Canada last week, but the finishes have been so low that he hasn't gained ground on his chase for the top 125.
Jonas Blixt tied for 59th in the 2013 World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and is back for a second look at Firestone CC this week.
The Swede has lacked heat since his T2 at the Masters, missing four of his last six cuts on the PGA TOUR with nothing better than a T35 The Greenbrier Classic. Combining that with the fact that he failed to break par in any of his four rounds at Firestone last season, and it's likely a good week to fade Blixt. The strength of his game is on and around the greens, while ball-striking should be a major key to success this week.
Seung-yul Noh will tee it up in his first World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational on Thursday.
Course history tends to be a determining factor at Firestone CC, so Noh could find himself at a slight disadvantage this week. Since his breakthrough win at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, he's failed to do any better than a T30 at the Quickens Loans National in eight PGA TOUR starts. Perhaps the value for gamers this week is to scout his performance for future years.
Alexander Levy makes his first appearance in the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.
Levy earned his spot in the field this week via his win at the Volvo China Open earlier this season. Of late, he has cashed in his last three starts on the European Tour highlighted by a T12 at the BMW International Open. This week's field represents a major step up in class from what he is accustomed to, so expect a learning curve.