10 things to know about new PGA Tour star Jake Knapp

PGA Tour rookie Jake Knapp has burst onto the scene - here's all you need to know about the new American golf star. 

10 things to know about new PGA Tour star Jake Knapp
10 things to know about new PGA Tour star Jake Knapp

PGA Tour rookie Jake Knapp is most certainly not resting on his laurels in 2024. 

Knapp, 29, earned his maiden PGA Tour title with a two-stroke victory over Sami Valimaki at the Mexico Open at Vidanta. 

The win now secures Knapp's card on the PGA Tour for the next couple of seasons. 

He also earns his eligibility into all the remaining Signature Events on the PGA Tour in 2024. 

Knapp earned the biggest cheque of his PGA Tour career with $1.4m at the Mexico Open. 

10 things to know about new PGA Tour star Jake Knapp

The new American star secured his card on the PGA Tour for the first time after coming through the Korn Ferry Tour in 2023. 

Although Knapp did not win a tournament last year on the lower-tier circuit, he ultimately did enough to earn his card after finishing T10 in the season-ending Korn Ferry Tour Championship. 

It fulfilled a lifelong dream for Knapp.

Knapp finished T70 on debut at the Sony Open last month and then missed the cut at The American Express.

But things changed, and fast. 

Knapp announced his name on the world stage with a T3 at the Farmers Insurance Open at famed Torrey Pines last month. 

He then finished T28 at the rowdy WM Phoenix Open earlier this month. 

Those performances saw him move to 101st in the OWGR. 

But Knapp vaulted to just outside the top 50 with a maiden PGA Tour title at the Mexico Open on 25 February 2024. 

Knapp was in a tie for lead thru 36 holes but then surged into a four-stroke lead with a brilliant 63 on Saturday to move to 19-under par. 

The round saw him break the 9-hole Vidanta record by going out in 28

Knapp did not have his best stuff in the final round, but he grinded out his first win on the PGA Tour with a final-round 71. 

He became the first player in PGA Tour history to win a tournament having found just two fairways in the final round. 

Knapp was greeted on the 18th green by his girlfriend McKenna, who flew in to see her man see out his maiden win on the PGA Tour. 

10 things you need to know about new PGA Tour star Jake Knapp

Knapp was born in California

Knapp was born in Costa Mesa, California, in 1994.

He played college golf for UCLA and turned pro in 2016.

Knapp nearly quit the game in 2021

Knapp was struggling for form three years ago on the developmental Tours, and he got so down on himself that he nearly gave up the game three years ago.

But he went to see a psychologist and changed his outlook. A year later, he won the CRMC Championship on the PGA Tour Canada in August 2022. 

Knapp has a tattoo below his left bicep with the initials GSFB because he holds his late grandfather dear to his heart

Many of you may be wondering what the 'GSFB' on Knapp's bicep is all about, and it's the initials of his maternal grandfather, Gordon Bowley, who sadly died in April 2023. 

Knapp's grandfather had been diagnosed with colon cancer in 2021 and it spread to his liver and lungs. 

In a tearful interview with reporters after stretching into a four-shot lead at the Mexico Open following the third round, Knapp said: "Just very thankful to have a grandparent that was so close and so involved in my professional life and just our lives in general.

He added: "He was the guy I talked to after every single round."

Knapp ranked 4th in final-round scoring on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2023

If some golf fans were considering a final-round collapse from Knapp in the final round of the Mexico Open, there was little point in banking on it.

While Knapp did not have his best stuff out there in the final round at the Mexico Open, he did keep his composure on the back nine to see out his maiden PGA Tour title. 

Knapp ranked fourth in final-round scoring on the lower-tier Korn Ferry Tour last season.

Knapp used to work as a security guard

Prior to his golf career taking off in 2024, Knapp was working as a security guard to help pay his bills as an aspiring PGA Tour pro. 

He reportedly worked as a security guard at The Country Club, which is a recreational facility in his native Costa Mesa.

Knapp is ranked inside the top 20 for Strokes-Gained Total on the PGA Tour

The American has wasted little time in proving his class from tee to green by mixing it with the world's best.

Knapp is currently inside the top 20 in the SG-Total ranking on the PGA Tour this season.

Knapp once received Tiger Woods' golf ball after it was thrown to him by Steve Williams

Knapp was behind the ropes when Tiger Woods took down Stephen Ames in a record-breaking 9&8 victory at the WGC Match Play in 2006. 

During that match, Woods' then caddie Steve Williams threw Knapp his golf ball. 

Knapp says he has kept hold of Woods' golf ball and it is pride of his place in his house. 

Knapp is dating Makena White

Jake Knapp's girlfriend is Makena White from Ottawa, Canada. 

Knapp reportedly flew his girlfriend in on Saturday night so she could watch her man compete in the final round of the Mexico Open. 

He was seen waving to his girlfriend when he first spotted her in the crowd on the front nine. 

Knapp then headed over for a hug and a kiss with his girlfriend. 

Makena ran on to the 18th green to greet her boyfriend and congratulate him on his maiden PGA Tour title. 

They have been dating around six months.

Makena, 26, works as a vascular surgery sales rep for LeMaitre, a medical device company, after graduating from McMaster University in 2019. 

Knapp has played in one major 

Although this is Knapp's rookie season on the PGA Tour, he did qualify to compete in the 2015 US Open at Chambers Bay. 

Knapp shot rounds of 74 and 76 to miss the cut on 10-over par. 

Jordan Spieth won the US Open that week. 

Knapp will certainly be playing in plenty more majors over the coming years. 

Knapp hits it miles 

Knapp's clubhead speed is one of the biggest on the PGA Tour at more than 123mph.

Last season on the Korn Ferry Tour, Knapp took full advantage of his power by leading the par-5 scoring and birdie / better rate. 

Knapp led the field for driving distance at the Mexico Open at 322 yards. 

Will Jake Knapp get the job done and win his maiden PGA Tour title at the Mexico Open? Get involved in our latest poll: 

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