Eagle Lifts Koepka to WM Phoenix Open Title

Brooks Koepka is back.

Koepka, the former world No. 1 who has battled hip and knee injuries for more than a year, chipped in for an eagle on the 17th hole and closed with a 6-under-par 65 to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open by one stroke over fourth-ranked Xander Schauffele and Hyoung-Koon Lee of South Korea at TPC Scottsdale.

“I felt like I was playing well even though I was missing cuts,” said Koepka, who missed the weekend in his last three starts, but came from five strokes down to claim his eighth PGA Tour victory and first since the 2019 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. “It came down to scoring. I just stayed patient, hung around until Sunday and things went my way.

“The past couple years, I’ve had some dark moments in which I didn’t think my left knee might never be the same again. It’s been a wild ride for the last year-and-a-half, but I’ve put in a lot of hard work and I’m very proud of myself.

“ … There were some sprinkler heads that I was concerned about (on his winning eagle), but I hit the ball perfectly, it took a nice little right kick for me, and didn’t look anywhere else but the hole. It just went in.”

The 30-year-old Koepka, who captured the 2015 WM Phoenix for his first PGA Tour victory, chipped in from 97 feet for his eagle at No. 17 in addition to sinking 24-foot eagle putt at No. 3 and adding three birdies against a single bogey to record a 72-hole score of 19-under 265.

Schauffele, from La Jolla and San Diego State, shared a three-stroke lead entering the final round but closed with a 71, while Lee shot 68, but missed a 34-foot birdie putt on the last hole that would have forced a playoff.

It was Schauffele’s eighth runner-up finish since last victory in the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions.

Jordan Spieth, who shared the 54-hole lead with Schauffele and was seeking his first title since the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, shot 72 and was two shots back in a tie for fourth with Carlos Ortiz of Mexico, who mad a 12-foot eagle putt at No. 15 in a 64, and Steve Stricker, 53, who finished at 69.

Andrew Putnam of Pepperdine carded a bogey-free 65 to wind up three down in a tie for seventh with Matthew NeSmith, who wound up at 66 with a seven-foot eagle putt at No. 15, and Scottie Scheffler, who came in at 70.

James Hahn of Alameda and Cal birdied six of the first 10 holes to take a three-stroke lead, but made four bogeys the rest of the way to finish at 69 and four strokes back in solo 10th.

Sixth-ranked Rory McIlroy closed with a 64 and wound up in a tie for 13th with second-ranked Jon Rahm of Spain, who totaled 68, and third-ranked Justin Thomas, who shot 72 after learning of his grandfather’s death overnight.

Defending champion Webb Simpson, ranked ninth, tied for 42nd after a 69.

For complete results, visit https://www.pgatour.com/leaderboard.html

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