MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy playing in the final pairing Sunday at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, one shot separating the No. 1 and No. 3 golfers in the world, had all the promise of a heavyweight superfight. Instead, it was over about as fast as Mike Tyson-Leon Spinks.
Trailing by a stroke heading into the last round at TPC Southwind, Koepka quickly erased the deficit with a birdie on the par-5 third then added two more birdies on the fifth and sixth holes and never looked back. He shot a final-round 65 to cap an easy three-stroke victory over Webb Simpson.
McIlroy, meanwhile, was the only player in the top 10 who failed to break par on the afternoon, tying for fourth after a lackluster 71.
“I know it's what everybody wanted, and I think it would have been incredible if it would have been us going down 18 and somebody having to make a putt on the last,” Koepka said of the showdown with McIlroy. “That would have been incredible for the fans, for everybody that showed up.”
Instead, it was only Koepka who showed up between the two four-time major winners, with a bogey-free round for his third victory of the season and his second in his last seven starts.
“It’s incredible,” Koepka said. “To look at what I’ve done this year, just show consistency, try to take my game I guess to a new level and I’ve done that.”