Monday 29 July 2019 6:08 pm

Unflappable Brooks Koepka shows why he’s world No1 and tees up intriguing FedEx Cup battle with Rory McIlroy

Major wins may have been behind Brooks Koepka’s rise to world No1 but he was always going to start becoming more prolific across the board – he is just too good not to.

The American underlined that fact in magnificent style on Sunday, winning only his third PGA Tour event outside of the Majors at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational.

Rory McIlroy looked to be bouncing back from a disappointing week at his home Open Championship when he took the lead with a fantastic round of 62 on Saturday. 

Read more: Sam Torrance’s Open verdict


But he missed a lot of putts and finished with a poor 71, five shots behind Koepka in fourth place. It just isn’t happening for Rory in final rounds at the moment. 

Koepka, on the other hand, showed why he is top of the pile now. He is great to watch and has as good a demeanour as anyone on the circuit. 

From the first hole to the 72nd, he doesn’t change; he just gets on with his game. He’s a bit like Dustin Johnson in that regard, but more upbeat. 

McIlroy missing killer instinct

It’s very difficult to criticise McIlroy. On paper, he has two wins and 10 more top-10 finishes in 16 events this year; you can’t play much better than that. 

His last rounds have not been great but he hasn’t been making 77s or 78s either. He doesn’t look like choking, although maybe he has lacked a killer instinct. 

MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE - JULY 28: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the World Golf Championship-FedEx St Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind on July 28, 2019 in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
McIlroy has two wins and 10 more top 10s this year. Credit: Getty

In the wake of missing the cut at The Open in Portrush, Rory spoke about changing his mental approach to Majors and needing to treat them differently to other tournaments. 

Given the magnitude of those events, I’d want to stay as relaxed as possible. But it’s a case of doing whatever is needed to play your best golf. 

Major rush leaves spotlight on FedEx Cup


All eyes are now on the conclusion to the FedEx Cup, where Koepka leads McIlroy in what looks like being an intriguing battle. 

It does seem silly, though, that we now have to wait nine months for the next Major, having squeezed them all into a four-month spell this year. 

This suits the PGA as it means more focus on the FedEx Cup. It is also to do with scheduling around the Olympics. I understand all that but I don’t think it’s what the golf world wants. 

Langer lasting longer

The phenomenal Bernhard Langer was at it again at the weekend, winning The Senior Open for a fourth time and becoming the oldest man to claim a senior Major at the age of 61. 

The German has won more senior Majors than anyone else – he’s now up to 11 – and is the only man to have won all five, completing the senior grand slam.

LYTHAM ST ANNES, ENGLAND - JULY 28: Bernhard Langer of Germany poses with the champions trophy after the final round of the Senior Open presented by Rolex played at Royal Lytham & St. Annes on July 28, 2019 in Lytham St Annes, England. (Photo by Phil Inglis/Getty Images)
Langer, 61, won his 11th senior Major at the Senior Open at the weekend. Credit: Getty

Langer still looks the same as he did 25 years ago and if anything is swinging the club better than he ever has. 

Lastly, good luck to England’s Georgia Hall as she prepares to defend her Women’s British Open crown at Woburn this week. 

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