Koepka holds off Poulter

European Tour

Brooks Koepka fired a seven under 65 to win the Turkish Airlines Open by one stroke on Sunday.

The American recovered from a poor round of 70 on Saturday to finish on 17 under for the tournament, edging Ian Poulter by one stroke to earn his maiden victory on the European Tour.

Koepka started off strong, carding three birdies in his first five holes. After a superb two on the par three eighth, Koepka rolled in a 40 footer on the tenth, putting him on 15 under.

A brilliant approach shot on the 13th left Koepka an eight foot eagle putt, which he sank with ease to take the outright lead. He would close with five pars in a row for an unblemished scorecard.

Meanwhile, Poulter had a steady round with five birdies and needed to hole a six footer on the 18th to secure a playoff with Koepka. However, the Ryder Cup veteran pushed his birdie attempt wide, handing victory to Koepka.

​”It’s a special week obviously, these four events and The Race to Dubai are ones you prepare for all year, and to win one of them is very special,” the 24-year-old told europeantour.com.

“I feel like I’ve been playing really well. 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 – I 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, and it showed I guess.

“To look where I was a year and a half ago on The Challenge Tour and now to be a winner on The European Tour is incredible, especially winning four times there and winning out here, it’s very special. So I’m excited to get to next week and hopefully carry my form over.”

Meanwhile, Poulter lamented his third round collapse of 75 on Saturday.

“The damage was done on Saturday,” said the Englishman.

“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.

“So you know, 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.”

World number five Henrick Stenson enjoyed a sizzling eight under 64 final round to jump up the leaderboard into third place, while first round leader Miguel Angel Jimenez had to settle for tied fourth.

The result also means that the Race to Dubai is mathematically over, as no-one can catch Rory McIlroy at the top. Sergio Garcia, Jamie Donaldson or Marcel Siem needed to win in Turkey and next week’s DP World Tour Championship to have a chance at overtaking the Northern Irishman.

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