Brooks Koepka blitzes the field at Dunlop Phoenix Open, wins by nine

November 19, 2017

Brooks Koepka finished with an eagle at the Japan Tour’s Dunlop Phoenix Tournament on Sunday — but he didn’t exactly need to.

Koepka, the event’s defending champion, shot a final-round 4-under 67 put him at 20-under 264, nine shots clear of second place. He birdied the first two holes and never looked back en route to taking home a first prize of 40 million yen, or roughly 350,000 USD.

PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele finished with an even-par 71 at Phoenix Country Club to tie for second with Prayad Marksaeng and Lee Sang-hee.

World No. 4 Hideki Matsuyama provided some drama early on Sunday when he made an ace on the par-3 3rd hole, and seemed poised for a charge at the lead. But a double bogey on the 11th hole left him with far too much ground to make up — particularly as Koepka got off to a sizzling start.

Matsuyama finished in fifth place at 10 under, and was less than optimistic in post-round comments, according to the Japan Times. “I feel there’s a huge gap between us,” Matsuyama said of Koepka. “I don’t know whether it’s a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well. It seems there are many issues to address.”

Koepka will hope to take momentum from the blowout win into his next start at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas, where tournament host Tiger Woods makes his return.