Austin Eckroat Strolls To Victory At Cognizant Classic In Monday Finish

The Young American confidently powered his way towards a maiden PGA Tour title by three shots in his 50th start

Austin Eckroat poses with the 2024 Cognizant Classic trophy at PGA National

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Austin Eckroat secured his first PGA Tour title on his 50th start after winning the Cognizant Classic by three shots courtesy of a final-round 67 at PGA National.

Finishing on a Monday due to heavy rain that washed out much of Sunday's action, Eckroat began on the eighth hole with a one-stroke advantage and a highly-experienced chasing pack right behind him.

Yet, the 25-year-old former Oklahoma State University golfer remained composed in his approach and ticked off the holes via a handful of early pars. From the 12th hole onwards, Eckroat put his foot down to speed off into the sunset.

Birdies on 12, 13, and 16 cancelled out a bogey error on 14 and ensured he sauntered down the stretch with breathing room between himself and both Erik van Rooyen and Min Woo Lee - who had begun putting a charge together before ultimately running out of steam.

In the end, some incredibly consistent ball striking helped Eckroat claim a debut PGA Tour crown and land him a check for more than $1.5 million - plus a tee time at The Players Championship and The Masters.

Speaking post-round, Eckroat said: "I'm really happy with how I played 'The Bear Trap' - you know, it's not a fun finish whenever you have to hold onto a lead. And then the adversity of sleeping mid-round - I'm just really happy with how I handled it.

"I kept telling myself 'I've put myself in this position for a reason, it's what I want to do' and I was happy I was able to perform in the situation."

Cognizant Classic Leaderboard

  • (1) -17 Austin Eckroat
  • (T2) -14 Erik Van Rooyen, Min Woo Lee
  • (T4) -13 Jake Knapp, Cameron Young, K.H. Lee, David Skinns, Shake Lowry
  • (T9) -12 Keith Mitchell, Billy Horschel, Peter Malnati, Alex Noren, Andrew Novak, Kevin Yu, Martin Laird

Updates from:

Headshot of Jonny Leighfield at Effingham Golf Club October 2023
Jonny Leighfield

Hello and welcome back to a bonus fifth day of PGA Tour action as we follow the Cognizant Classic to its conclusion at PGA National.

Austin Eckroat is hoping to land a debut PGA Tour title, and he starts with a one-shot lead as the Oklahoma kid attempts to close this out over his final 11 holes.

He will have experienced players behind him, though, with the likes of Shane Lowry, Alex Noren, and Rickie Fowler hoping to crash the party.

We're back underway in Florida, so stay tuned wherever you are and please enjoy our coverage! Thanks for joining.


Hello and welcome to our live final round updates. As you join us, with around 45 minutes until the 54-hole leaders tee off, Erik Van Rooyen is eight-under-par after 11 holes!

He's one clear at the top, way before the final group goes off, and needs another four birdies to break 60.


The South African looked likely to drop a shot on the 11th, until...


Inclement weather calls off play.


Seven-under on the front for Van Rooyen (he birdied the 10th too) - but will this weather delay halt his momentum?


Still no updates on when play will continue at PGA National.

The rain has really come down in the last 20-30 minutes and the golf course is now very wet. Expecting an update in the next 10-20 minutes.


When play does restart, Van Rooyen will lead with a total of 16 players within four strokes of him.

The course is going to be very soft now so we could see a shootout if two or three players get hot, as the South African has shown that there are plenty of birdies out there.


Anthony Kim's first week back is in the books, with the American finishing in last-place in his return at LIV Golf Jeddah.

Check out Anthony Kim's 5 best quotes from his first week back in nearly 12 years.

Anthony Kim on day three of LIV Golf Jeddah 2024

(Image credit: Getty Images)


Continuing with other news, it was a second LIV Golf victory in three starts for Joaquin Niemann in Saudi.

The Chilean, who also won the Australian Open in late 2023, recently received an invite into The Masters and is one of the world's hottest players right now.


On the LPGA Tour, the 2019 Women's PGA Champion captured her fourth LPGA Tour title thanks to three consecutive birdies to finish in Singapore.


An update about an update I'm afraid - the next update will come at 2pm local time in Florida, so in around 25 minutes' time.



Puddles at PGA National

(Image credit: Getty Images)


The Englishman's flat stick was damaged on Thursday after his caddie took a tumble - but it's still in the bag.


Practice area is still closed and another update is coming at 3pm local time - another hour to wait.

Looking like a Monday finish here sadly.


DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley at the opening ceremony of the Bahrain Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley delayed his departure in order to see a unifying deal through - yet, his latest comments in an interview with The Times suggest April's deadline will almost certainly be missed.

Read more: 'Whether It Is In Six Months... Or 10 Years' - Outgoing DP World Tour CEO Believes Golf's Unification Is 'Inevitable'


Joaquin Niemann of Torque GC poses for a photo with his trophy after winning the LIV Golf Invitational - Jeddah at Royal Greens Golf & Country Club on March 03, 2024 in King Abdullah Economic City , Saudi Arabia

(Image credit: Getty Images)

After clinching his second LIV Golf win of the year, the 25-year-old Chilean couldn't help but send another sly jab at the OWGR and Majors qualification.

Read more: Joaquin Niemann Takes Another Dig At World Rankings After Latest LIV Golf Win


The South African, let's remember, is eight-under after 11 holes in the final round - and he had time to greet his fans after play was suspended.

We're set to hear more in 20 minutes' time.


The USA's Jordan Gumberg came through a playoff in South Africa to win his first DPWT title at the SDC Championship.


The 42-year-old Englishman is an incredible story this week, having been +150000 or 1,500/1 before the tournament.

He is a three-time Korn Ferry Tour winner who has never had a top-10 finish on the PGA Tour and has made just 13 of 32 cuts on the US circuit.

Yet he finds himself T1st after 54-holes at PGA National. Amazing.

David Skinns holds up his replica PGA Tour card after qualifying through the Korn Ferry Tour Championship in 2023

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Read more: Who Is David Skinns? 16 Facts You Didn't Know About The PGA Tour Player



Rain has stopped at PGA National. Play won't commence before 3.45pm ET - crews currently assessing the course.


The practice ground is open and players are on the range hitting balls. Looks like we could be back up-and-running in the next 30-45 minutes.


"I'm sure that we'll be able to get out there," Mark Dusbabek, PGA TOUR Senior Director, Lead TV Rules & Video Analyst said.

"It won't be before 3:45, but it will be shortly around that time."


Play will resume at 4.20pm ET, which is in around 45 minutes' time.


Lowry and Skinns out at 5.10pm local time - should get around an hour's play.

  • 4.20pm: Russell Henley, Ben Silverman
  • 4.30pm: Andrew Novak, C.T. Pan
  • 4:40pm: Kevin Yu, Victor Perez
  • 4.50pm: Min Woo Lee, Martin Laird
  • 5pm : Austin Eckroat, Jacob Bridgeman
  • 5.10pm: Shane Lowry, David Skinns


Hat tip to NBC's John Wood, who points out that mud balls could be an issue this afternoon and tomorrow.

Due to the round starting as normal, preferred lies cannot be implemented despite wet fairways. It means that Lowry, Skinns and Eckroat may have quite a few mud balls for their entire round - something that Erik Van Rooyen didn't have to deal with for his first 11 holes at least.


Screenshot of a PGA Tour leaderboard

(Image credit:



Players are making their way out onto the golf course!



We should get around two hours of play in.

Erik van Rooyen continues quest for 59

So we are back underway at PGA National. With very little wind out there and greens a lot softer because of the rain, expect to see some low scoring for the next couple hours of play today. 

Someone who already went super low today was Erik van Rooyen, who is eight under after 12 holes. He made a whopping seven birdies in his first nine, and added another on the back with no bogeys on his card so far. If he continues to keep a clean score card, he will need at least three more birdies to shoot in the 50s. 

It may not be enough, however, with the leaders Shane Lowry, David Skinns and Austin Eckroat still set to tee off in their final rounds. 

10 players left to tee off

10 players are still yet to start their rounds today, with the final pairing of Lowry and Skinns set to tee off at 5.10pm local time.

Meanwhile on the par-4 13th, van Rooyen found trouble after his tee shot, but managed to punch out of the pine needles to get safely on the green. He would go on to two-putt for par to keep the one-shot lead at -14.

Mitchell's big move

Keith Mitchell is another player to go low today and is six-under after 11 holes. He has moved up by 26 spots to fifth at -12. Sam Ryder, Byeong Hun An, Chris Kirk, Beau Hossler and Ryan Fox were the other big movers so far today.

On the 14th, van Rooyen is safely on the green after a nine-iron from 166 yards. He'll have about 30 or so feet left though for birdie. Not quite the red hot start so far since the resumption of play. 

Another par for van Rooyen

That's three-straight pars now for van Rooyen since the resumption of play as he two-putts from 30 feet for a four on the 14th. He'll need to get going again if he is to have a shot at the title. He now starts the famous Bear Trap portion of the course, starting with the 187-yard, par-3 15th.

Van Rooyen finds the bunker

Van Rooyen finds the green-side bunker with his tee shot on the par-3 15th. He hasn't hit the green on the 15th all tournament. Bit of work now to stay in the lead.

Meanwhile, Ben Silverman has just holed out from 103 yards on the 3rd for an eagle to move to -10. 

Van Rooyen bogeys 15th

Van Rooyen drops his first shot of the day, succumbing to the Bear Trap on the par-3 15th. He had about a 12-footer for par after his bunker shot, and couldn't sink it to drop to -13 alongside Lowry, Skinns and Eckroat. Is that his shot at the title (and a 59) over? 

Fowler moves to -10

Rickie Fowler sinks his second birdie of the day after five holes to move to double digits under par. 

Co-leader Austin Eckroat starts his round with a par, while the final pairing of Lowry and Skinns have teed off on the first. Lowry is safely on the fairway, while Skinns loses his tee shot way left but stops short in the rough before the water.

On the 14th, Mitchell makes his first bogey of his round to fall back to -11 with four other players.

Novak sinks a 64-foot bomb

Andrew Novak went from a left-handed chip to sinking a 64-foot putt at the 3rd - watch the incredible sequence below. He's one-under so far after four holes. 

Another par for van Rooyen

Van Rooyen has well and truly cooled down since the delay, and has another par on the 16th. 

On the first, Skinns couldn't get up and down from the bunker and starts with a bogey to move to -12. Lowry couldn't sink his 10-footer for birdie to start with a par. 

Van Rooyen regains the lead

Van Rooyen has finally sunk his first birdie since the delay at the 17th, nailing a 20-foot putt and letting out some emotion as it drops. He has the par-five 18th to go, and needs at least a birdie.

Jake Knapp and Billy Horschel have both moved to -12 to join Skinns in fourth.

Erik van Rooyen hits a driver

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Horschel moves to -13

Horschel has joined Lowry and Eckroat at -13, one shot behind the lead, after another birdie on the 13th. 

Lowry hasn't quite gotten the greens figured out yet, as he missed two makeable birdie putts on 1 and 2.

Trouble for van Rooyen on 18

Van Rooyen attempts a fade with his second shot on the par-5 18th, but double crosses and loses it way left. His ball hits the grandstand and rolls back across the cart path - at least he's not in the water on the right. Tricky up and down now for a much-needed birdie.

Skinns finds the water

A rough start for Skinns as he finds the water with his second shot on the par-5 3rd - a poor miss there. He already has a bogey on the first to sit at -12, two shots behind the lead. Just after, Lowry almost makes the green in two.

On the 18th, van Rooyen's ball landed on the cart path and got relief to the rough. But his pitch wasn't the best as he's left with a long birdie putt, which he will need to make if he is to have any chance at the title. 

Van Rooyen finishes on -14

So no birdie for van Rooyen at the 18th as he finishes with an eight-under 63 - but it could've been so much better. He just couldn't get going after the delay. He remains the solo leader at -14, for now. 

Eckroat ties the lead

Eckroat hits a gorgeous approach into the par-4 fourth to about three feet, which he taps in for his first birdie of the day to move to -14. And just like that, van Rooyen's lead is gone. 

Lowry missed another birdie chance on No.3 to stay at -13.

Another birdie for Knapp

Knapp sinks his fifth birdie of the day at 13 to move to -13 alongside Lowry, one shot behind the leaders. 

The PGA rookie is hoping to go back-to-back after his victory in Mexico last week. 

Eckroat takes solo lead

Eckroat sinks back-to-back birdies on four and five to take the solo lead at -15. 

Speaking after his round, van Rooyen - in the clubhouse at -14 - sounded confident that he'll stay in it right up until the end, especially with the "difficult Bear Trap".

Speaking of the Bear Trap, Horschel falls back to -12 after a bogey on 15. Skinns is down to -11 after two bogeys in his first four holes. 

Knapp is on fire

Knapp has been absolutely flushing it in the last couple weeks, and nailed his approach on the 14th to within three feet for back-to-back birdies. He's now one behind Eckroat at -14. A reminder, this is just his 10th start on tour. 

Few minutes of sunlight left

The sun is quickly setting at PGA National and play is about to be called off in a few minutes. Eckroat is the man to beat at the moment at -15, while van Rooyen is in the clubhouse at -14. PGA Tour rookie Knapp has made his move though and is also at -14 after 14 holes. 

On the 5th, Lowry drops his first shot of the day after missing the green on the par 3 to fall back to -12. 

The horn has sounded

So day four (of five) is set to end at PGA National as the horn sounds. The players will finish up the holes they're on. 

Eckroat ends his day with a par

With minimal light on the course, Eckroat finishes his short day on the 7th, tapping in a par putt to keep a one-shot lead. 

"Just a weird day," Eckroat tells the broadcast shortly after. 

Some other players are trying their best to finish off, including McIlroy who will squeeze in his final hole. He has about eight feet to end with a birdie. 

Play to restart at 8am tomorrow

So that ends a long, disrupted day at PGA National. The players who haven't finished will return at 8am local time tomorrow. 

McIlroy can't quite finish with a birdie after a dirty lip out on 18. He ends on -10 with a three-under 68 final round. 

Eckroat has a one-shot lead at -15 heading into Monday. Van Rooyen is in the clubhouse at -14, while Knapp has dropped a shot at 15th to fall back to -13. 

That will do it for our day four coverage of the Cognizant Classic - thanks for reading along. 

Monday play is underway!

We are underway in Florida and Austin Eckroat has begun what he hopes will be a successful (and slightly obscure) journey towards a maiden PGA Tour title.

Jake Knapp could only make par on 16, and his chances of birdie on the par-3 17th look distant after finding the left centre of the green. He is at -13 through 16, two shots back of Eckroat.

Eckroat opens up with a par

The leader began with a 10-foot putt for birdie, but it trickled narrowly to the right of the target and he'll have to make do with par.

Meanwhile, Lowry remains on -12 for his final round after a brilliant par save from an awkward range on the mammoth par-3 seventh.

How it stands

No one has made any moves just yet in these early stages, which will suit Eckroat just fine.

Lowry and Lee move in opposite directions

The Irishman has not enjoyed a great final round, whichever day he's played it. After a run of pars was interrupted by a bogey on five, he's followed that up with another on nine. Lowry is back to -11 along with what feels like half of the field.

Speaking of -11, though, Min Woo Lee has just thumped his approach on 10 to 15 feet or so. He has an eagle chance to move up to -13. It feels like Lee will be the one to put the most pressure on Eckroat today, in my professional opinion. And he does! With a successful eagle putt. He's now at -13 - two shots back.

Knapp comes up short

Last week's Mexico Open victor misses with his birdie putt from just off the green on 18 but tidies up to finish at -13. Regardless, that is a fantastic fortnight for the former nightclub bouncer!

Novak the latest to close in on Eckroat

Andrew Novak is up into a tie for third on -13 after banging in three birdies in a row. His latest one was a beauty, slinging in a mid-range approach which spun back to about five feet on 12.

Eckroat misses chance to extend advantage

This could be a big moment. What has been - by some distance - the easiest hole on the course this week, the par-5 10th, Eckroat misses a short birdie attempt and walks off with a par. 

Compared to the rest of the field, that is effectively a bogey. The advantage remains just one.

Chef stays in the hunt

Min Woo Lee digs himself out of trouble on 11 via a clutch four-foot putt for par. 'The chef's' issue arose after he pulled what should have been a relatively simply iron shot left instead of fading it around to the right - his preferred shape.

Eckroat survives a mudball

Following a positional drive on 11, Eckroat had to deal with a chunk of mud on the front of his ball as he fired towards the green which had water on the right. Eckroat is safely aboard, though.

Meanwhile, Novak misses the chance to add a fourth birdie in a row. He missed it left and immediately threw his left arm out as if to say: "how has that not moved right?!" Still, he's -3 through four since the restart.

Chef is starting to cook

K.H. Lee finishes his tournament off with a birdie on 18 to move up to -13. There are now five guys on that number, although his namesake Min Woo has shifted upwards alongside Erik van Rooyen after dropping his approach shot into 12 on a dime near the hole and rolling it home.

Eckroat birdies 12

Eckroat gently rolls in a five-footer from just past the flag on 12, and he will feel an awful lot better as a result of his opening birdie of the day.

His advantage is now two, and it could turn out to be more after Min Woo Lee pushed his drive on 13 into the trees and was forced to awkwardly hook one out.

The Australian escapes any punishment, though, sinking his par putt and the gap remains two.

Austin Eckroat v Min Woo Lee

It appears to be Eckroat v Lee down the stretch with Novak's momentum stalling and Shane Lowry slipping backwards fast.

Lee hits a fairway metal into the first cut on 14 while Eckroat flies a beautiful 88-yard wedge right over the flag just behind to leave a pretty straightforward birdie attempt. They're never that easy, are they? But Eckroat is full of confidence, and he drains it! Austin Eckroat is now 17-under-par.

The leaders begin 'The Bear Trap'

Lee sends his tee shot into the par-3 15th hole high - it's an aggressive shot for an aggressive player who quite simply needs to make something happen.

Back on 14, Eckroat has put himself in a tricky position after dumping his approach into the far-left bunker. It could be on the downslope, too, making an awkward shot even tougher.

Lead down to two

It was almost an incredible escape from Eckroat! On a down-hill lie, he flicks the ball out of the bunker with a little air on it, managing to make it grab on the way downhill, too. His club head was not far away from the back of that ball at all. It actually looked like it might have had a chance of going in at one point.

But after leaving himself a six-footer to save par, the putt was dragged left. Not what you need when you're about to tackle 'The Bear Trap'...

Ice-cold response from Eckroat

As Eckroat settled in over his ball on the par-3 15th, a bird swooped in and put him off. The young American backed off, regained his composure, and returned to the golf ball before drilling a superb tee shot into birdie range.

It's some 20 feet and change, but his golf ball is dry and in the heart of the green. That's some serious mental fortitude.

In for three on 15

Eckroat is painfully close to draining his 19-foot effort, but it just about skips on by the left.

Meanwhile, David Skinns and Shane Lowry are beginning to make something happen in the final group. Lowry has just carded his third birdie in five holes on the back nine - Skinns is two from five and no bogeys.

Chasing pack stumble

Lowry dunks it in the water on 15 as Skinns pulls his effort well left into the bunker. That could be plugged, and with water behind the green, it's an unenviable shot.

Min Woo Lee has one more hole of 'The Bear Trap' to go after making par on 16. This one seems to be completely in the hands of Eckroat now. If he pars out, it seems unlikely that anyone will catch him.

Austin's wife Sally

The leader's wife, Sally has been following him since the middle of round three and says he works extremely hard so she would love to see him win.

The pair first met when they were 18 months old, with Eckroat apparently first telling Sally he "like-liked" her when they were lining up for recess in kindergarten. Find out more about Sally here.

Eckroat birdies 16

The lead seesaws once more and it's back up to three. Eckroat *just about* rolls his 12-foot putt in the front door on the par-4 16th after playing just perfect golf up to that point. He has the dangerous 17th to play still, though, so this ain't over.

Eckroat on the 18th tee

Austin Eckroat at the 2024 Cognizant Classic

(Image credit: Getty Images)

It's a perfectly-acceptable par on 17 for Eckroat, and he's now stood on 18 with a three-shot lead over Min Woo - who is making a real mess of things ahead. The Australian went right off the tee and is now left ahead of his third.

Meanwhile, Eckroat stripes another tee shot down the middle. This has been some incredible driving from the young American today.

Lee ends with a 67

Min Woo is desperately unlucky to see his birdie attempt on 18 just slide by. He ends with a final-round 67 and will likely finish T2 with Erik van Rooyen.

Eckroat Wins The Cognizant Classic!

The former Oklahoma State golfer almost finished with a flourish and sent his long-range birdie putt tumbling in, but it just peeled off to the right at the death.

It matters not, though, as -17 will be enough for Eckroat, and it's a first PGA Tour victory in his 50th start. Congratulations to Austin and his team.

Skinns and Lowry end on -13

Not either of the above players' days, but Skinns and Lowry tidy up on the 72nd hole to wrap up a couple of T4 results. That will mean plenty to Skinns with a bundle of vital points and a nice stash of prize money for the 42-year-old Englisman.