KOEPKA’S TRIUMPH AS RORY FALTERS
NOW we know how to get Brooks Koepka interested in events outside the majors. Just stick Rory McIlroy next to him going into the final round. It looked a pretty good contest on paper for the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational in Memphis yesterday. McIlroy bounced back nicely from his Open debacle with a third round 62 for a one-shot lead over the world No 1 with a round to play. It was the first time they had played together in the final group on Sunday on the PGA Tour. In truth, it proved a complete mismatch, with Koepka striking early and the Northern Irishman discovering that he’d used up his share of holed putts on Saturday. An out of sorts McIlroy (below) had to wait until the 14th hole for his first of the day, and by that stage Koepka had five of them to seize a lead he never looked likely to relinquish. The 29-year-old Floridian only arrived on the premises 45 minutes before he was due to tee off but quickly made up for lost time with three birdies in the first six holes. Koepka closed with a 65 for a three-shot success over fellow American Webb Simpson, who came through the field with a 64. Open runner-up Tommy Fleetwood continued his fine form with a 66 for tied fourth place alongside fellow Englishman Matt Fitzpatrick (69) and McIlroy, who shot a disappointing 71. Koepka came into this event with eyebrows continuing to be raised about his record of four major wins in America against just two regular victories in his homeland. Here, he began to correct that curious anomaly with his first triumph in one of the four World Golf Championship events. In common with most of the stars, both men will now have a week off before starting as the two favourites for the FedEx Cup that will occupy their time next month.