Matsuyama Finishes 5th As Koepka Defends Dunlop Phoenix Crown







Matsuyama finishes 5th as Koepka defends Dunlop Phoenix crown

Despite a highlight hole-in-one, Hideki Matsuyama could only scrape a 2-under-par Dunlop Phoenix final round on Sunday, leaving him 10 strokes back of reigning champion and 2017 tournament winner Brooks Koepka.

Matsuyama, who finished fifth, got off to a hot start with a birdie on the first hole and an ace on the par-3 third. He finished with five total birdies, the hole-in-one eagle, three bogeys and a double bogey around the Phoenix Country Club's par-71 course.

Things turned bad soon after his third-hole ace. Matsuyama missed a birdie on the par-5 fourth and three-putted No. 6 for a bogey.

"That hurt," he said. "I don't know whether it's a lack of practice or whether I lack the strength to keep playing well. It seems there are many issues to address."

World No. 10 ranked American Koepka, who shot a final-round 67, finished at 20-under-par 264, one shy of the tournament record he set last year. However, his nine-stroke win was a record, surpassing the eight-stroke victory Tiger Woods recorded here in 2004.

"I feel there's a huge gap between us," Matsuyama said of Koepka, whom he has finished runner-up to twice on the American PGA Tour.