Right Name, Wrong Tour
Last week when Peter Uihlein and Justin Thomas finished in the top 5 at the Sanderson Classic I pondered about which one of the two, plus Brooks Koepka, would win first on the PGA Tour. I said Koepka, and then the guy goes out and wins the Turkish Airlines Open one week later on the European Tour to get his first win. Yes, he has 4 Challenge Tour wins, but those aren’t the same as winning on either the Euro or American Tour.
Koepka’s win in Turkey today was no fluke. He started the round a few shots behind 54 hole leader Wade Ormsby but raced by him with a final round 65. His charge was lead by turning in four under. Then Koepka made a helluva birdie at the par four 10th hole to get the ball rolling on the back nine, but the real momentum changer was his eagle at the par five 13th. That gave him a comfortable lead over everyone not named Ian Poulter and turned the last 5 holes into match play. In the end that was enough to win thanks to a few clutch putts and iron shots, and Poulter’s failure to convert a shortish birdie putt on the final hole.
What is next for Brooks is the exciting part of today’s events. I feel like this could free him up to go on a bit of a run. Obviously the win will raise his world ranking to help get him into certain WGC events and other prestigious tournaments. Now he has to take advantage of his opportunity. What I hope is that we see BK on the U.S. Ryder Cup team in 2016. And I don’t care how he gets there. Kid has balls and can play. And did all of you fuckers see the little blond that was waiting for him in his entourage when he came off the 18th? Perhaps it was his sister. Sorry I didn’t get a picture.
As I said above, Poulter was really the only player on the golf course with a chance to steal the TAO from Koepka. He didn’t lose the tournament on Sunday. He shot a 67 for fuck sake. He lost on Saturday when he started the round with a six shot lead and hit it all over the lot en route to a 75. He did this in a fairly nasty rain storm and the result was a huge surprise to me for two reasons. First, he’s normally a mudder, by that I mean he plays well in sloppy conditions. Second, he usually chokes on Sunday. Hey oh!!!!!
The good news for Ian is that he’s clearly playing better and his recent high finishes prove it. I’m guessing his equipment changes are still in a honeymoon phase, but said changes aren’t having a negative impact on his game like they can for many guys. The bad news is that he’s still basically winless in stroke play events for his life. He had a birdie putt on the final hole to push Koepka into sudden death. This was the kind of putt that he’s made 98 out of 100 times in the Ryder Cup for a halve. But with all the potatoes on the line in stroke play he missed it low, perhaps even pulled it. He should have wrote a book on how to choke in individual tournaments instead of his bullshit biography.
Defending champ Victor Dubuisson was also in the field at the Turkish Airlines Open. His opening round 77 burst his bubble in trying to repeat. He fought back valiantly finishing T15, and it looked like he literally fought someone to get there as he played Friday with a bloody nose. Henrik Stenson took humor in the charade.
If you couldn’t hear him, Henrik commented, “bloody good birdie”. I didn’t think Swedes understood comedy.
Winning A Race Without Running
The Turkish Airlines Open is the 2nd to last event for the Euro Tour’s Race To Dubai. Rory McIlroy wasn’t competing in the TAO, but if certain players didn’t win he was almost assured of locking up the Euro version of the Fed Ex series thanks to his scorching hot 2014 summer. Once it was clear Michael Siem couldn’t win, Rory was the victor. Hopefully he was watching from his couch while two hookers blew him when he heard the news. That doesn’t seem likely based on this Instagram.
I guess that means no hookers, dude must be beating it….errr……balls, beating balls constantly.
Shot Of The Day
The Shot of the day must belong to Brooks Koepka, that part is easy. Which shot is the question. On ten he drained a very long and very key birdie putt. On 13 he stiffed a hybrid on the par 5 that lead to an eagle. Then on 18 after he punched out of the trees he hit an iron to 10 feet from 229 yards. I thought I’d go with the hybrid shot that lead to eagle, but the nerves he was dealing with on 18 make that shot even more impressive.
Onions. Stay tuned for Mayakoba talk later today.