Brooks Koepka arrives just 45 minutes before tee time, shoots 65 to win WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational
The stars aligned for the final round of the World Golf Championships-St. Jude Invitational, as the final pairing was comprised of third-ranked Rory McIlroy leading top-ranked Brooks Koepka by one. Here’s what you missed in the final round at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tenn.
Who won: Brooks Koepka (five-under 65, 16 under overall)
How it happened: McIlroy held a one-shot lead after 54 holes, but the Koepka-McIlroy shootout the fans were hoping for never came to be. McIlroy made all pars on the front nine as Koepka birdied 3, 5 and 6 to turn in three-under 32 and lead McIlroy by one. Koepka birdied the 10th to lead by three, and McIlroy dropped further down the leaderboard when he bogeyed the 12th. All of a sudden it looked like Koepka’s only challenger was Webb Simpson, who shot 64 to take the clubhouse lead at 13 under, two behind Koepka. But Koepka had little trouble closing. He added a birdie on 17 to win by three.
Who lost: Coming off a disappointing missed cut at the Open Championship in Northern Ireland, McIlroy was in prime position to rebound this week but couldn’t bust out on Sunday. A day after lighting up the course for a 62 on Saturday, McIlroy didn’t make his first birdie of the final round until the 14th. That brought him to within three of the lead, but he dropped back with a bogey on the next hole. He shot 71 and tied for 4th.
Why it matters: So apparently Koepka can win more than just majors? He entered the week with four major titles and just two other PGA Tour wins, one of which was a fall event in South Korea. But Koepka proved he can get up for non-majors, too. The World No. 1 now has three wins on the season and seven career PGA Tour titles. This was his first WGC victory.
Best arrival: Koepka made quite the (late) entrance on Sunday. Turns out he got ready off-site.
Up next: The PGA Tour’s regular season comes to a close with the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. Jordan Spieth was a late entry into the field as he tries to improve his FedEx Cup standing before the first of three playoff events begin the following week.