Outrageous chip in secures win for Koepka in Phoenix: The American admits win comes after doubting his ability to compete again.
The World number 12, Brooks Koepka secured a surprise victory in the Waste Management Open in Phoenix over the weekend. The 30 year old claimed his first of the season and eighth on the PGA Tour.
The victory caught many by surprise as he came from behind to take the lead. The American has struggled badly to regain form having had both knee and back problems since 2019.
The four time major winner was winless since 2019 and had missed the last three cuts in a row. Koepka started the final day five shots behind the leaders before a fantastic back nine propelled him into contention.
Coming onto the back nine Xander Schauffele and Kyoung-Hoon Lee held a firm lead, leaving Koepka with it all to do. Having held the overnight lead with a three shot advantage, Schauffele struggled on his final round.
A poor final day 71 was not enough, leaving the door open for others. With the leaders struggling to fire, birdies on 13 and 15 got the run going for Brooks.
Chip in secures win
Coming onto the drivable par 4 17th, it appeared tight at the top with Schauffele, Kyoung-Hoon, Speith, and Koepka all in the mix. However, it all changed when Koepka hit a sublime eagle chip from the side of the green on 17. The roars from the crowd could be heard all over the course as the American looked unfazed.
— Brooks Koepka (@BKoepka) February 7, 2021
The 30 year old parred the last to put pressure on the chasing pack. However, both Spieth and Schauffele fell away as they forced the initiative on the way home. Kyoung-Hoon Lee had a long range birdie putt on 18 to force a playoff but couldn’t convert.
Koepka carded a 65 six under par final round finishing one shot ahead of Schauffele and Kyoung-Hoon on 19 under. Speaking after the round he admitted that he doubted himself if and he’d ever get back to the top.
“There was a period maybe for about two months where I just questioned whether I was ever going to be the same, whether I was even going to be somewhat remotely the same golfer that I ever was”.
“But we stuck with it. Those dark places, a lot of tears, questioning yourself, and in dark places mentally. You’ve got to come out of that”.
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