Sharma finishes 55th as Koepka wins CJ Cup and becomes World No. 1

After a sublime third round, Shubhankar Sharma shot a modest 74 to finish a distant Tied-55th at the CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES on Sunday.

Shubhankar Sharma of India tees off on the fourth hole during the final round of the CJ Cup golf tournament at Nine Bridges golf club in Jeju Island on Sunday.   -  AFP

After a sublime third round, Shubhankar Sharma shot a modest 74 to finish a distant Tied-55th at the CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES here on Sunday.

Sharma had four birdies and four bogeys and an eagle in his round of 74 as he totaled 1-under 287. His third round of 64 had seen him rise to T-26 and raised hopes of coming inside Top-20 after a T-10 finish at CIMB Classic a week earlier.

The star of the day was three-time major champion and 2018 PGA Tour Player of the Year Brooks Koepka, who produced a commanding 8-under 64 with a closing eagle to beat back the opposition by four shots. Koepka totaled 21-under total of 267.

With the victory, Brooks Koepka moves to No. 1 in the official rankings for the first time in his career, passing Dustin Johnson for the top spot. Koepka has now won three of his last 11 starts on the PGA TOUR.

Gary Woodland started the day five strokes behind Koepka but pulled level after making six birdies in seven holes on the front nine. As the two battled it out on the back nine, Koepka again pulled ahead only to see Woodland birdieing 15th and 16th again pull level.

However, Koepka did the same, and a bogey by Woodland on the par-3 17th gave Koepka the cushion he needed to close out the win despite a birdie on the 18th by Woodland.

The biggest moment came on the 16th. Koepka went from a fairway bunker to just left of the green, about 70 feet away. Koepka hit a chip-and-run that was stopped by the pin and dropped for the birdie. Koepka finished with a 25-foot eagle putt for a 29 on the back nine.

Woodland finished second after a 63, while Ryan Palmer birdied his last seven holes of the final round to set the course record with a 10-under 62 to finish in a tie for third place with Rafa Cabrera Bello (65), four strokes behind Koepka.

Defending champion Justin Thomas finished at 5-under after a 68 Sunday.

The reigning PGA TOUR Player of the Year has now won each of the first two editions of THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES with Koepka winning in 2018 and Justin Thomas winning the inaugural edition in 2017.

It was Koepka’s 12th victory worldwide, including four wins on the European Challenge Tour. He now has won in seven countries - the U.S., South Korea, Spain, Italy, Japan, Turkey and Scotland.

Woodland held a share of the 36-hole and 54-hole lead at last week’s CIMB Classic on his way to a T5 finish and was second.

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