SEOUL (Reuters) – Brooks Koepka will become world number one for the first time on Monday after the American fended off a game Gary Woodland to earn a four-stroke victory at the PGA Tour’s CJ Cup in South Korea.
Koepka posted a final round of 64 at the Nine Bridges Golf Club on Jeju island on Sunday, finishing with a flourish by eagling the last hole for a combined 21-under 267 at the $9.5 million tournament.
The 28-year-old, who won two of last season’s four majors and was named the U.S. tour’s Player of the Year, will replace Dustin Johnson as number one when the latest rankings are released. Johnson and world number two Justin Rose were not playing this week.
Woodland (63) gave Koepka a run for the money, closing the gap with six birdies on the front nine, but his charge faltered with a bogey on 17 and he finished alone in second on 17-under.
Ryan Palmer looked well out of contention heading into the final round but a course record 10-under 62, which included seven straight birdies to finish, gave him the clubhouse lead on 15-under before Woodland and Koepka came home.
Palmer finished tied for third with Spaniard Rafa Cabrera Bello (65).
Koepka’s win came on his first start of the new PGA Tour season after he skipped the opening two events.
(Reporting by Peter Rutherford; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)