Brooks Koepka admitted it was ‘pretty special’ to overhaul Rory McIlroy en route to winning the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in Memphis. The world number one started the final round a shot behind McIlroy, who shot a 62 on Saturday, but overhauled his playing partner with plenty to spare as he shot a flawless final round of 65.
Koepka’s tally of 16-under par at TPC Southwind was enough to see him home with three shots to spare on fellow American Webb Simpson, who shot a lowest-of-the-day 64 to come through the pack and take second on 13-under par. Northern Ireland’s McIlroy carded a final-round 71 to end up five shots adrift of the winner and he was only player in top 10 to shoot over par on Sunday.
McIlroy missed several birdie putts as he opened with 11 successive pars, while playing partner Koepka swept past him with birdies at the third, fifth and sixth holes. With his putter stone cold, McIlroy made bogeys on the 12th and 15th holes, though he did pick up his lone birdie of the round at the par-three 14th.
English pair Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick tied for fourth alongside McIlroy on 11-under par, with Australian Marc Leishman sitting second behind Simpson. Koepka, who has won four majors in the past two years, took delight in turning things around against McIlroy in a prestigious event.
“It feels really good. I knew I had to make some putts and to catch up with Rory by nine would be big,” Koepka said.
“I played really solid. The goal was to make no bogeys and I came out bogey free so I’m really pleased. “To win this title against Rory was pretty special.” Koepka is favourite at 9.50 to win the 2020 Masters at Augusta National, while McIlroy is 11.00.