European Tour

Koepka triumphs in Turkey

2014-11-16 15:49
Brooks Koepka (Getty Images)

Belek - American Brooks Koepka has guaranteed himself a 2015 Masters invitation by capturing the Turkish Airlines Open in Belek on Sunday.

Koepka, 24 came from two shots behind to shoot a final round seven under par 65 and claim a maiden European Tour title by one shot with a 17-under par tally on the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course.

The Florida-born golfer claimed a first European Tour victory in his 27th Tour start to deny England's Ian Poulter who shot a five-under par 67 to finish second on 16-under par.

"I feel like I've been playing really well and I've been knocking on the door, and these last maybe two, three months, I've been very close over here and in the States," he said.

"I also felt like I should have won a couple. But I've been knocking on the door and I've learned something every time, and used that today. I was very relaxed, very calm today. It showed I guess."

Victory will lift the current World number 61 ranked golfer to inside the top-35 on the rankings and the assurance of ending the year among the elite the top-50 and with a first reward of an invitation from Augusta National.

"I've kind of had Augusta on the schedule since playing in the US Open this year," he said.

"So that invitation is going to be nice and I was actually told in the locker room, I didn't even know at the time.

"But yes, definitely looking forward to that. That will be great as growing up, watching that tournament, has always been special."

Koepka, who won four times on the secondary Challenge Tour, collected a first prize cheque of €930 740 that has seen him jump from 43rd to sixth on the Race to Dubai while he is now hot favourite to be named European Tour Rookie of the Year.

Poulter secured his best finish all season but was left lamenting having missing a seven-foot birdie putt on the final green that would have sent the event into a play-off.

"Disappointing is the outcome but hats off to a great round today from Brooks as he's played some superb golf there," said Poulter.

"My damage was done on Saturday. That, for me, is really disappointing; to have played three great rounds of golf, and just one blip on Saturday, which is a real shame.

"It's frustrating, is what it is. There's no other word for it. Yes, I'm going to be angry. I'll be angry for a good few days. But that's fine.

"I'll keep myself in my own little room and have a little chat with myself and come out and win next week."

Poulter's comfort as he joined around some six players chartering a private jet to Dubai was a cheque for €487 381 euros that has seen him leap from 42nd to 14th on the Race to Dubai.

Sweden's Henrik Stenson birdied four of his closing six holes in a round of 64 to grab third place on 14th under par.

The 2013 European number one moved into second place on the Race to Dubai but €2 726 614 behind Rory McIlroy who has captured the 2014 Race to Dubai crown given the first prize money on offer next week in the season finale in Dubai is less than half McIlroy's monetary lead.

McIlroy was among the first to congratulate his good friend Brooks going onto Twitter to remark:

"Massive congrats to my good buddy @BKoepka on his win in Turkey! Very well deserved, enjoy the victory celebrations"

Scores on Sunday in the final round of the Turkish Airlines Open in Belek:

271 - Brooks Koepka (USA) 69-67-70-65
272 - Ian Poulter (ENG) 64-66-75-67
274 - Henrik Stenson (SWE) 70-70-70-64
275 - Miguel Angel Jimenez (ESP) 63-73-71-68, Andy Sullivan (ENG) 67-75-66-67, Danny Willett (ENG) 67-70-69-69, Wade Ormsby (AUS) 65-71-68-71
276 - Marcel Siem (GER) 70-69-66-71, Lee Westwood (ENG) 70-68-67-71
277 - Eddie Pepperell (ENG) 70-71-67-69
278 - Alexander Levy (FRA) 68-71-73-66, Emiliano Grillo (ARG) 68-72-71-67, Romain Wattel (FRA) 67-71-73-67, Peter Uhlein (USA) 73-65-70-70
279 - Victor Dubuisson (FRA) 77-68-70-64, David Lipsky (USA) 69-73-69-68, Brendon De Jonge (ZIM) 65-73-73-68, Stephen Gallacher (SCO) 67-71-71-70


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