Coming into Phoenix there were tons of storylines, including the season debut of Tiger Woods. We all know how that ended up, so no need to relive the horror that took place. Phil Mickelson was in the 132 player field as well, and he had a lofty expectations due to the prior success he has had at this tournament, winning just two years ago. Phil was on a 59 watch, which is the most exciting thing that happens in golf; unfortunately, that didn’t happen, as he missed the cut for the first time since 2009. Definitely not the way those two wanted to begin their 2015 seasons.
That opened the door for the field to make a statement, and that is exactly what Brooks Koepka did. The 24-year-old from the University of Florida State is a two-time All-American that has Bubba Watson type power, and that gives him a leg up on the rest of the competitors off the tee. He didn’t take the traditional route that most PGA Tour players take. Instead of the Web.com Tour, Brooks went the European Challenge Tour route, which, he said, taught him how to deal with failure and become a better player and person. He was able to get a win on the European Tour in Turkey, building his confidence that he could beat anyone anywhere.
He proved that this weekend, coming from 3 strokes behind leader Martin Laird on Sunday, posting a 65, and holding off Bubba Watson, Hideki Matsuyama, and Ryan Palmer. Koepka’s defining moment was a 50 foot eagle from off the green to give him the lead for good. He had to hold his breath because Matsuyama had a putt to tie and send the two players to a playoff. Matsuyama missed the putt, and that was it. Brooks Koepka was the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open champion.
Brooks Koepka’s driving accuracy was the reason he came back to win, as he didn’t miss a fairway on the Saturday or Sunday. That’s an amazing fairway hit percentage. The little known American has now made a name for himself in the golf world, as he is now the 33rd ranked player in the world and one to watch out for come April for The Masters.