SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP)—With an eagle putt that looked as long as his golf journey around the world, Brooks Koepka surged into the lead and stayed there Sunday in the Phoenix Open for his first PGA Tour victory.
Lingering for most of the final round, Koepka holed a 50-foot eagle putt from the fringe on the 15th hole and didn’t make any mistakes the rest of the way.
The victory ended a long road for the 24-year-old from Florida. With no status in America, Koepka played the Challenge Tour in faraway lands like Kazakhstan and Kenya, winning four times to earn his European Tour card and then validating his status as a rising star by winning the Turkish Open last year.
Martin Laird, who had a three-shot lead going into the final round, was tied with Koepka going to the 17th until he sprayed it well right into the gallery on the short par-4 hole and made bogey, and then pulled his tee shot into the water on the 18th and made double bogey. He closed with a 72 to tie for fifth with Arizona State junior Jon Rahm (68) at 12 under.
DUBAI DESERT CLASSIC
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP)—Top-ranked Rory McIlroy won the Dubai Desert Classic for the second time in six years, shooting a 2-under 70 to match the tournament record of 22-under 266.
McIlroy tied the tournament record set by Thomas Bjorn in 2001 and also matched by Stephen Gallacher in 2013. McIlroy won the 2009 event on Emirates Golf Club’s Majlis Course for his first pro victory.
Alex Noren was second, three strokes back after a 65.
Gallacher, the winner the last two years, was third at 16 under after a 69.
PANAMA CLARO CHAMPIONSHIP
PANAMA CITY (AP)—Australia’s Mathew Goggin won the Web.com Tour’s season-opening Panama Claro Championship, closing with a 3-under 67 for a four-stroke victory.
Also the 2011 winner, the 40-year-old Goggin finished at 11-under 269 at Panama Golf Club. He earned $112,500 for his fifth victory on the tour and first since 2011.
Harold Varner III was second after a 71.
China’s Li Hao-tong, the third-round leader, had a 76 to finish 11th at 3 under. The 19-year-old Li was making his first tour start after earning a card as PGA Tour China’s money leader.