WGC-St Jude Invitational: Brooks Koepka eases to three-shot victory

Brooks Koepka won the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational
Brooks Koepka won the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational

Brooks Koepka eased to a three-shot victory at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational after Rory McIlroy's final-round misery continued in Memphis.

Leaderboard

-16 Koepka

-13 Simpson

-12 Leishman

-11 Fleetwood, Fitzpatrick, McIlroy

Day four report

Brooks Koepka eased to a three-shot victory at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational after Rory McIlroy's final-round misery continued in Memphis.

Koepka posted a five-under-par 65 on Sunday while McIlroy could only manage a one-over 71 to finish five back at 11 under par in a tie for fourth - the seventh time he has failed to break 70 in the final round of his 13 PGA Tour events so far this season.

Webb Simpson's six under was the best score of the day and saw him finish second while Marc Leishman also finished ahead of McIlroy in third on 12 under after a 67.

McIlroy began Sunday with a one-shot lead but his advantage evaporated early on day four as Koepka joined him at the top of the leaderboard after firing a birdie on the par-five third hole to grab a share of the lead.

The Northern Irishman made par on every hole on the front nine but found himself two shots behind Koepka at the turn after the four-time major winner's back-to-back birdies at five and six.

McIlroy was by then joint second with Simpson, who was playing five holes ahead of the final pair and made a flying start with an eagle on the par-five third.

Koepka extended his lead with another birdie on the 10th before McIlroy's challenge faded with his first dropped shot of the day at the 12th.

Another bogey on the par-four 15th left McIlroy on 11 under and four shots behind Koepka. The Northern Irishman had now been overtaken on the leaderboard by Simpson and Leishman and was tied for fourth spot with Tommy Fleetwood and Matthew Fitzpatrick, which was how he would finish.

Five birdies between the 10th and 16th holes had put Leishman in contention but the Australian gave two back with bogeys at 13 and 15.

Koepka maintained his three-shot advantage to clinch the title with a bogey-free round to finish on 16 under.

Day three report

Rory McIlroy birdied four of his final five holes to card a fine eight-under par 62 and open up a one-shot lead at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational.

Just over a week on from missing the cut at the Open at Portrush, the Northern Irishman, who had started the day five shots off the lead, registered nine birdies and a bogey as he moved to 12 under in Memphis.

He was Ben Coley's headline selection for the tournament with a five points win at 11/1 the recommendation in his staking plan. He is now 5/4 with Sky Bet.

The world number three opened what was the joint-lowest round of the week with a birdie, added another on the third and then three in a row from the seventh, before finishing strong.

World number one Brooks Koepka is second after the American produced a round of 64 featuring seven birdies and one bogey.

"It is exciting," McIlroy told the European Tour. "He's (Koepka) the number one player in the world, four majors in the last three years, he's the man right now.

"I got to play with him the last couple of days and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed seeing what he can do.

"The last four missed cuts that I've had, I've finished first, second, first and 12th, I'm a quick learner. We're very fortunate in golf that there's always next week, you can respond so quickly from setbacks and failures.

"Tomorrow's a new day. Whatever happened today is great but I've got to reset and try and go again tomorrow. I think it's nice that I've seen some really good golf and I've seen some putts fall.

"I don't know if it gives you momentum but it gives you confidence going forward."

Overnight leader Matt Fitzpatrick lies third, one stroke behind Koepka, after a 69.

The Englishman bounced back from a double-bogey on the 12th and bogeys on the 13th and 15th by making successive birdies on the 16th and 17th.

When asked if he was pleased with how he fought back at the end, Fitzpatrick told Sky Sports: "Yes, definitely.

"I felt like I played pretty solid, certainly the front nine, lots of fairways and greens. I struggled a little bit in the middle of the back nine, but to get it back under par I felt was probably fair."

Australia's Marc Leishman, Sweden's Alex Noren and Spain's Jon Rahm are tied in fourth at nine under.

Fitzpatrick's compatriot Ian Poulter is among a trio a shot further back, along with Thorbjorn Olesen of Norway and US player Billy Horschel.

And another Englishman, Tommy Fleetwood, is one of four players on seven under. He is joined by Americans Justin Thomas, Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson.

Day two report

Yorkshireman Matt Fitzpatrick shot a second-round 64 to take a two-stroke lead in the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in Memphis.

His advantage would have been less had Bill Horschel not bogeyed his final hole to drop into a tie for second place.

Sheffield-born Fitzpatrick, a five-time winner on the European Tour who finished second in March's Arnold Palmer Invitational on the PGA Tour, got his round off to a flier with four successive birdies.

Key to that was the quality of his iron play, and although he dropped a shot at the par-three eighth, he had two more birdies coming home to lift him to nine under.

He looked like being caught by Horschel, who started on the back nine with two birdies, before a bogey, an eagle and two further birdies put him within one of the lead until he dropped his second shot of the day at the par-four ninth to card a 66.

Overnight leader Jon Rahm, after his brilliant opening 62, salvaged his round with a late flourish after four bogeys in 15 holes.

Back-to-back birdies at 16 and 17, added to the earlier one at the 13th, saw him sign for a one-over 71 but still remain in contention at seven under along with Horschel, fellow American Patrick Cantlay and Australian Cameron Smith.

English duo Ian Poulter and Justin Rose and four-time major winner Brooks Koepka are at five under, while Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy improved his prospects with an encouragingly bogey-free 67 to sit one shot further back.

Day one report

Jon Rahm fired an eight-under 62 to storm into the lead after the opening round of the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational.

The Spaniard sank a series of putts from at least 16 feet as he carded eight birdies for a bogey-free round in Memphis.

Equalling his career low, Rahm gave himself a three-stroke lead ahead of five players tied for second.

Australian Cameron Smith joined Americans Patrick Cantlay and Bubba Watson and Japanese players Shugo Imahira and Hideki Matsuyama on five under, hitting rounds of 65.

Rahm, who won the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open earlier this month, said he had managed to adjust to the quicker greens than at last week's Open at Royal Portrush.

He told the PGA Tour website: "I think it's just imprinted in memory... It just felt good. Once you come into the tournament, and hit a few putts, for the most part it's like you're back here. To me, it's always easier to adjust to quick greens than going to slow greens."

Six players, including England's Tyrell Hatton and Ian Poulter, went round in 66 to sit in joint seventh.

Dustin Johnson, who won last year's St Jude Classic on the same course, carded an opening-round 69, as did Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut by one shot at the Open.

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