Koepka wins WPMO for first PGA Tour title


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The leaderboard frequently changed Sunday at TPC Scottsdale, but when the dust settled the PGA Tour had its newest champion. Here’s how things ended at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where Brooks Koepka notched his first win:

Leaderboard: Koepka (-15), Hideki Matsuyama (-14), Bubba Watson (-14), Ryan Palmer (-14), Martin Laird (-12), Jon Rahm (a) (-12)

What it means: Koepka was already viewed as a rising star, but his status as a player to watch has been cemented following a closing 66 that erased a three-shot deficit. It’s his first win in the U.S. after a number of close calls and his second worldwide victory in the last four months after he captured the European Tour’s Turkish Airlines Open in November.

Round of the day: Freddie Jacobson made a move on the front nine Sunday, making the turn in 5-under 30 after five birdies on Nos. 4-9. The Swede added a pair of circles on the back nine for a bogey-free 64 that moved him up 23 spots in the standings and into a tie for seventh at 11 under.

Best of the rest: Watson finished second here last year, and he again came just short after a 6-under 65. Watson opened with birdies on three of his first four holes before grabbing a share of the lead when he holed out from the bunker for birdie on No. 13. It would turn out to be his last birdie of the day.

Biggest disappointment: Laird began the day with a three-shot lead, but the Scot was quickly caught and then faltered down the stretch, carding a 1-over 72. A three-putt bogey on No. 17 left him one shot back heading into the final hole and a watery double bogey on No. 18 ended his hopes.

Shot of the day: Matsuyama got things started in style with a hole-out eagle from 129 yards on the first hole, but the turning point was Koepka’s 51-foot bomb for eagle on No. 15. The putt gave him a share of the lead for the first time all day.

Quote of the day: “It feels amazing. The last few weeks, I put in a lot of hard work. Changed my putting stroke completely, and everything seems to be going right.” - Koepka