Koepka lands first big win by outduelling Poulter

Sun Nov 16, 2014 10:24am EST
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By Tony Jimenez

BELEK Turkey (Reuters) - Young American Brooks Koepka looked as cool as a cucumber as he won a battle royal with Ian Poulter to claim the first regular tour victory of his career at the $7 million Turkish Airlines Open on Sunday.

The 24-year-old's triumph also meant Rory McIlroy was confirmed as Europe's 2013-14 money-list winner ahead of next week's season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

Koepka and the 38-year-old Poulter were locked together at the top of the leaderboard until the youngster struck a majestic approach at the 13th and nonchalantly rolled in a 12-foot eagle putt to burst two strokes clear.

The Englishman, playing in the match behind, had to make do with a birdie at the 13th and the destiny of the title eventually rested on developments at the 18th.

The bearded Koepka could only manage a par five at the last after pushing his tee shot into the tall pine trees that line the Montgomerie Maxx Royal and being forced to chip the ball out sideways.

Poulter found sand with his approach and then the man who is normally so reliable with the putter in Ryder Cup combat missed a glorious opportunity to set up a sudden-death playoff when he failed to hole his birdie attempt from five feet.

"This is awesome," Koepka told Sky Sports television after a closing seven-under 65 gave him a 17-under tally of 271. "I played well and obviously Poulter did too.

"This field is first class. Some of the best players in the world and it's nice to get the win.   Continued...