Brooks Koepka was in ‘some dark places’ before Phoenix Open win


For the first time since July of 2019, Brooks Koepka is a PGA Tour event winner — but not without some tough times in between.

The 30-year-old Koepka shot a 6-under on Sunday — including a chip-in eagle on the 17th hole — to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open at 19-under, fending off Xander Schauffele and K.H. Lee (18-under).

“I was in some dark places mentally,” Koepka told reporters, per CBS. “I didn’t know if I was ever going to be the same again.”

It was not long ago that Koepka was the No. 1 golfer in the world. He won the U.S. Open in 2017 and 2018 and the PGA Championship in 2018 and 2019. He won the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational two months later, on the way to being named the PGA of America Player of the Year for the second straight year.

But in 2020, he battled through hip and knee injuries, which forced him to cut his season short. He had previously missed three straight cuts before winning the Phoenix Open this weekend.

Jordan Spieth, who shot 61 on Saturday for a share of the third-round lead, sputtered to a final-round 72 to finish in a tie for fourth at -17. Winless since the 2017 British Open, the 27-year-old Texan is trying recapture the form that carried him to 11 PGA Tour victories — three of them majors — in his first five seasons on the tour.

— with AP

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