THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES
Jeju Island, South Korea
Making his tournament debut, overnight leader and World No. 3 Brooks Koepka painted an 8-under-par 35-29=64 in Sunday's final round at The Club at Nine Bridges for a 72-hole tally of 21-under 267, good for a four-shot win over runner-up Gary Woodland (63).
The 28-year-old, a pre-tourney 8/1 outright, claims his fifth PGA TOUR title in 105 events (104 pro), first since a two-shot win at the 2018 PGA Championship (Bellerive CC; Missouri) five starts ago, where he was the 54-hole leader as well. He improves to 3-for-5 when leading/co-leading at the three-quarter pole, three for his last three.
FUN FACT: Koepka had one TOUR win in his first 79 events. He’s now bagged four in his last 26 and three in his last 11.
Ryan Palmer (course-record 62) and Rafa Cabrera Bello (65) finished T3, six adrift, while Jason Day (67) and second-round leader and playing competitor Scott Piercy (69) were T5, nine in arrears. Ian Poulter, who completed the final group, fell eight places to T10 with 71.
Final Leaderboard (pre-tourney odds outright):
1- (-21, 267) Brooks Koepka (8/1)
2- (-17, 271) Gary Woodland (28/1)
3- (-15, 273) Ryan Palmer (150/1)
3- (-15, 273) Rafa Cabrera Bello (50/1)
5- (-12, 276) Jason Day (11/1)
5- (-12, 276) Scott Piercy (125/1)
Leaders in Strokes Gained Stats:
N/A; no ShotLink at CJ CUP. If there were, Koepka would’ve posted a 16.79 SG: Total.
FUN FACT: Runner-up Woodland was the 18- and 36-hole leader at Koepka’s last victory (2018 PGA Champ), ultimately finishing T6.
FUN FACT: Koepka led the TOUR in R4 Scoring Average last season (68.27) and is off to a flying start this campaign. His last three R4 scores when leading/co-leading after 54 holes:
68: (2018 U.S. Open)
66: (2018 PGA Champ)
64: (2019 CJ CUP)
Based on that progression, his next one will be a 62.
Koepka collects 500 FedExCup points to open up his season a career-high 3rdin the FEC standings, while last week’s CIMB winner Marc Leishman, T18 this week, bumps up one spot to No. 1 in the FEC standings for the first time.
With the win, Koepka climbs two places to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking, becoming the 23rd player in history to reach the pinnacle, knocking (off-and-on No. 1) Dustin Johnson (idle) to No. 2.
*Note: After a P2 at the 2018 BMW Champs, Justin Rose was the 22nd player to become World No. 1 and held that position for just two weeks, relinquishing the top spot (back to DJ) after T4 at the 2018 TOUR Championship.
Koepka, DJ, and Rose, now 1, 2 and 3 in OWGR, are all in the published field at this coming week’s WGC-HSBC Champions. Last year, Koepka (18-hole leader) and DJ, the 36- and 54-hole leader (by six), finished T2 to Rose, who erased an 8-shot deficit w/ 5-under 67 to win by 2.
FUN FACT: Of the 23 World No. 1’s, Koepka is just the third to claim the crown with a win outside the U.S., first since Luke Donald, who bumped from 2 to 1 after winning the 2011 BMW PGA Championship.
The FSU product wasn’t at ease at the beginning, 1-over thru four holes (bogeys at 2 and 4, birdie-4 at 3), but after back-to-back birdie-3s at 5 and 6, became a man on a mission. Pressed to the end by Woodland, he answered the bell with a home-half 29, including a walk-off eagle-3 for good measure.
Koepka landed 11 (of 14) fairways and 15 greens in regulation, outflanking the two failed scrambles with eight birdies at 3, 5, 6, 10, 12, 13, 15 and 16, and the icing-on-the-cake, eagle-3 at 18. He recorded 1.600 putts per GIR with 28 total putts.
FUN FACT: 2018 Player of the Year Koepka was paired the first two rounds with defender and 2017 POY Justin Thomas (finished T36).
Koepka's Key Moments in R4:
Hole 5 (par 4): leaking oil after squares at 2 and 4, bounced back with back-to-back birdies at 5 and 6
Hole 10 (par 4): birdie (20-to-25-foot range) on the most difficult hole of the day
Hole 12 (par 5): up-and-down birdie
Hole 13 (par 3): playing at 200 yards, near ace, kick-in 2
Hole 15 (par 4): birdie (from 15-to-20-foot range)
Hole 16 (par 4): pitch-in birdie-3 (from the rough); leads by 3
For the week, Koepka tallied two eagles and 23 birdies versus six bogeys. He ranked 1st in Par-4 Scoring, T1 in Eagles and No Doubles (or worse), and 2nd in Birdie or Better Percentage and Birdie to Bogey Ratio. See his full stats at the bottom.
He records his 31stcareer top 10 (105 events), first since T8 at the 2018 NORTHERN TRUST four starts ago, and his 14thtop 3.
Form: 1-26-19-12-8-1-5-MC-39-19-1(defender)-30-2-11-42-MC(team) – missed 15 weeks w/ wrist injury
The Jupiter, Florida, resident, finished a career-best 9th in the FEC standings last season with six top 10s in 17 starts, including two wins and two runners-up, and wrapped with a disappointing T26 (of 30) at the TOUR Championship. He followed that with a 1-2-1 record in a losing effort at the Ryder Cup but got back on track with T7 at the European Tour’s Alfred Dunhill Links two weeks ago.
Starts: 105 (104 pro)
Cuts Made: 87 (82.8%)
Top 25s: 54 (51.4%)
Top 10s: 31 (29.5%)
Top 3s: 14 (13.3%)
Wins: 5 (4.7%)
2019: THE CJ CUP (54-hole leader)
Winning Margin: 4 shots
Career Start: 105
Event Type: NO CUT
2018: 100th PGA Championship (54-hole leader)
Winning Margin: 2 shots
Career Start: 100
Event Type: MAJOR
2018: 118th U.S. Open (54-hole quad-leader)
Winning Margin: 1 shot
Career Start: 95
Event Type: MAJOR
2017: 117th U.S. Open (come from behind, 1-shot deficit)
Winning Margin: 4 shots
Career Start: 80
Event Type: MAJOR
2015: WM Phoenix Open (come from behind; 3-shot deficit)
Winning Margin: 1 shot
Career Start: 22 (first-time member, not rookie)
Event Type: FULL FIELD
FUN FACT: In Koepka’s five wins, he’s either been 1, T1, or T2 after 54 holes.
TOUR Wins by Season:
2019: 1 (CJ CUP)
2018: 2 (PGA; U.S. Open)
2017: 1 (U.S. Open)
2015: 1 (WM Phoenix Open)
2014: 0 (Special Temporary Member)
Field Scoring Average:
This was the 2ndplaying of THE CJ CUP, 2ndat The Club at Nine Bridges:
Scorecard Yardage: 7,184
Par: 72 (36-36)
Cumulative scoring averages:
*Had there been Strokes Gained stats, Koepka was 16.79 SG: Total
Koepka’s Position by Round:
R1: T11 (3 back)
R2: 2nd (1 back)
FUN FACT: Koepka led/co-led 6 times last season after any round (in 17 events played/62 rounds), which ranked T7 on TOUR. DJ was No. 1 with 15.
Leader/co-leaders by Round:
R1: Chez Reavie (finished T7): 1-for-4 as 18-hole leader/co-leader
R2: Scott Piercy (finished T5): 1-for-4 as 36-hole leader/co-leader
R3: Brooks Koepka (Won): 3-for-5 as 54-hole leader/co-leader
FUN FACT: In the last 94 stroke-play events, dating to the beginning of the 2016-17 season, Koepka was the 16th player with a 4-shot lead or greater thru 54 holes and the 13th to convert.
4-shot lead or greater conversion: 81.20%
*Note: The last player that failed to convert was Paul Casey at the 2018 Travelers: Led by 4, shot 2-over 72 and finished T2, 3 back.
R1: 68: Chez Reavie
R2: 64: Brian Harman
R3: 64: Shubhankar Sharma
R4: 62: Ryan Palmer*
*Palmer: course and tourney record
R3: (10): Rafa Cabrera Bello (65); Ted Potter, Jr. (65); Hideki Matsuyama (66); Emiliano Grillo (66); Brooks Koepka (67); Cameron Smith (67); Pat Perez (68); Gary Woodland (68); J.B. Holmes (68); Graeme McDowell (69)
Multiple Bogey-Free Rounds:
Through 3 non-team events this season:
1 winner was in their 20s (Koepka: age 28)
2 were in their 30s
0 were in their 40s
Chez Reavie (T7): First-round leader was the only player to record all four rounds of 70 or better.
Gary Woodland: Playing out of the third-to-last threesome, the World No. 38 fired a 9-under-par 63 to conclude his second CJ CUP (T40/2018) and climbed two places on the day to solo 2nd.
It was his second start of the season, arriving off a T5 at last week's CIMB, where he was a 36- and 54-hole co-leader, buoyed by a career-low, 11-under 61 (11 birdies, 0 bogeys) in R2.
The 34-year-old began T4 on 8-under, five back, and piped 13 (of 14) fairways and hit 16 GIR, recording 1.500 putts per GIR with 28 total putts.
He bagged 11 birdies (again), including four straight and six in a seven-hole stretch on the front nine. The Delray Beach, Florida, resident gave Koepka all he could handle on the outward nine, 30 versus 35, but Koepka responded with 29 against Woodland's 33 (5 birdies, 2 bogeys) on the home half.
He records his 9thrunner-up in 229 events, first since T2 at the 2017 Honda, and 13th top-3 finish (3 wins, 9 runners-up, 1 show). For the week, Woodland was No. 1 in total birdies (27) against eight squares and one double.
FUN FACT: Woodland was one of eight players at last week’s CIMB with multiple bogey-free rounds and he carried that success north to Korea. Led the field this week in Birdie or Better at 37.50 percent.
Ryan Palmer: Making his tournament debut, the 42-year-old closed with bogey-free 62 (10 birdies) for his 18thtop-3 finish in 384 events, first since P2 at the 2018 Farmers as the 36-hole leader. His 62 was the low round of the week, capping it off with seven straight birdies. Second top 5 in last five starts (T5, 2018 The NT).
Rafa Cabrera Bello: Playing out of the penultimate threesome and making his second appearance (T11/2018), the 34-year-old birdied his final four holes en route to 65 and tied his career-TOUR-best with T3. It’s his third top 3 in 72 events, joining a T3 at the 2018 WGC-Mexico and solo 3rd at the 2016 WGC-Match Play, where he beat defending champ Rory McIlroy 3-and-2 in the Consolation Match. Hit all 14 fairways in R4. Second top 10 in last four starts (T7, 2018 Dell Tech Champ).
Odds Favorite(s) Outright:
Dating to the beginning of the 2016-17 season (144 events), the pre-tourney fave/co-fave has won 10 times, none this season thru three events.
47 (non-team) tournaments
4 pre-tourney fave/co-faves won:
Dustin Johnson: 11/2 (Canadian Open)
Dustin Johnson: 6/1 (St. Jude)
Jon Rahm: 8/1 (CareerBuilder)
Justin Thomas: 15/2 (CJ CUP)
Justin Thomas: defending champ was the pre-tourney fave outright for a second week in a row (11/2), and for a second week in a row, never factored. He finished T36 on 5-under 283 (73-70-72-68), a distant 16 in arrears. The 2017 FEC champ back-doored a T5 at last week’s CIMB with a day-tying-low 64, but didn’t have that same closing speed this week.
The last eight winners on TOUR (reverse order): Brandt Snedeker (Wyndham); Bryson DeChambeau (The NT); Bryson DeChambeau (Dell Tech); Keegan Bradley (BMW); Tiger Woods (TOUR Championship); Kevin Tway (Safeway); Marc Leishman (CIMB); Brooks Koepka (CJ CUP)
Koepka’s Weekly Stats (ranking of 78 players):
Eagles: 2 (T1)
Birdies: 23 (T2)
Bogeys: 6 (T5)
Doubles: 0 (T1)
Birdie or Better: 34.72% (2nd)
Birdie to Bogey Ratio: 4.17 (2nd)
Par-3 Scoring: 3.00 (T19)
Par-4 Scoring: 3.70 (1st)
Par-5 Scoring: 4.44 (T4)
Driving Accuracy: 41/56 (T42) at 73.21%
GIR: 56/72 (T23) at 77.78%
Putts per GIR: 1.750 (20th)
Total Putts: 115 (T5)
Putts by Round: 30-27-30-28
Scrambling: 10/16 (20th) at 62.50%