No lead is safe in golf, especially when at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Entering the final day, Martin Laird led the field by three strokes, but Brooks Koepka's 51-foot eagle putt on hole No. 15 propelled him into the lead and eventually to the victory.
Laird finished in a tie for fifth after faltering on the 17th and 18th holes in the final round. He had a chance to win outright or at least force a playoff, but he bogeyed on hole 17 and double-bogeyed on 18.
Koepka was in Laird's final group along with Hideki Matsuyama. The two were tied three strokes away from Laird to begin the round. Matsuyama actually had the best chance at forcing a playoff, but his birdie attempt on hole No. 18 was seven inches from the hole.
During the last few holes of the final round, the top of the standings turned frantic with outsiders from the final pairing such as Bubba Watson and Ryan Palmer turning in good rounds.
But Koepka's putt on hole No. 15 was the key shot in his first PGA tour victory of his career. Koepka has won once on the European tour and four times on the Challenge tour.
"I was striking it really well," Koepka said. "I have always been a good iron player. I drive the ball far, so that helps. But the putting has been huge. I have been able to stroke the putts very well, get them rolling end over end, and I have worked hard on that."
Waste Management Phoenix Open Leaderboard:
1. Brooks Koepka (-15) T-2. Bubba Watson (-14) T-2. Ryan Palmer (-14) T-2. Hideki Matsuyama (-14) T-5. Jon Rahm (-12) T-5. Martin Laird (-12) T-7. Freddie Jacobson (-11) T-7. Jordan Spieth (-11) T-7. Graham DeLaet (-11)
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