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By : BGA Proshop
Brooks Koepka wins the Waste Management Phoenix Open and is back in the winner’s circle again.
It has been an 18 month struggle for Koepka who had left knee and hip problems and if he'd ever be back at all.
"It's been a wild ride for the last year and a half and very frustrating," Koepka said. "I've had moments where I didn't know if I was going to be the same, if I could even come back."
His back nine on Sunday was as good as he has played rallying for victory with a chip in eagle to seal the win.
"I went through it mentally," Koepka said. "I think that's probably the toughest thing, where you don't know if you're ever going to be the same competitor that you were. You go through some real dark places, and it's not a fun place to be."
It was jam packed leaders board with Jordan Spieth and Xander Schauffele the overnight leaders heading into Sunday. Spieth who has also had a tough run in recent times tied Schauffele on Saturday with a 61 at 18 under. His Sunday performance left him tied for fourth but it was good to see Spieth back in contention at golf tournaments.
James Hahn was quick out of the blocks on Sunday building up a quick lead and by his 10th hole he was 3 shots clear of the field. He was out in a 5 under 30 but couldn’t keep the round going and come home with a 4 over 39 leaving him at 15 under.
Carlos Ortiz had a hot round going matching the lowest round of the day with Rory McIlroy at 7 under. He was out in 32 and finished birdie, birdie on the inward 9 giving him the club house lead at 17 under.
Schauffele who had a rollercoaster of a day got off to a slow start and was out in one over. Another bogey on his 14th hole dropped him to two shots back of the lead but two birdies in a row got him back to a tie at 18 under with KH Lee. Lee was the first one to 18 under with a birdie on the 17th hole setting the stage for Koepka.
It was Koepa’s back nine which was a standout of this round. His three birdies in a row from the 13th got him to 17 under.
On the drivable 17th hole, Koepka hit a fairway wood 305 yards short and right of the green, then holed out to the largest roar of the day from the crowd limited to 5,000 a day due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I felt like the chip, if I just caught it right in the fringe it was going to check up on me, and it did perfectly," he said. "Took a nice little right kick for me, and didn't look anywhere else but the hole."
"I've missed the fans," Koepka said. "Just being around fans is something else. I love it. I've played my best golf with fans, so just need to find something when they're not there."
"I live for those moments where you got to close, you got to hit some quality shots, quality putts," Koepka said. "I just like showing off, I guess."