Midway through the Sunday back 9 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, Brooks Koepka was cruising to a top 5 finish. Through 13 holes, he trailed eventual champion Fabian Gomez by three strokes and Greg Owen by just one.
Sitting on the tee box of the 239-yard par-3 14th, Koepka was in the hunt for a victory, until he fanned his tee shot short and right of the green, into a water hazard. It was a crushing blow for Koepka, who would reconcile his round with a pair of bogeys coming in, but his winnings check would never be the same.
A simple par on the lengthy par-3 (which he had played even-par through the first three rounds) would take two strokes off his finishing total of 272 (8-under). A 10-under finish would have moved him into second place, all alone, where $648,000 would be all his.
Instead, he was stuck in a five-way tie for third, alongside Seung-yul Noh, Michael Thompson, Matt Jones and Phil Mickelson, where he claimed a $270,600 check instead. Was par guaranteed? No. But even a simple bogey would have helped him garner a share of second place and a lofty check worth $528,000.
In the end, Koepka’s hazard-induced double bogey cost him $257,400, maybe even more. He canned a long birdie putt on 18 to ease the pain.