Brooks Koepka has admitted he “choked” at the Masters after blowing a four-shot lead to eventual winner Jon Rahm on a mammoth final day at the first men’s Major of the year.
The American looked back to his brilliant best at Augusta National and led by four from Rahm when the third round resumed on Sunday following lengthy rain delays on Saturday. However, the former World No. 1 saw his advantage evaporate as the skies cleared in Georgia, with his typically strong resolve under the utmost pressure deserting him.
A final-round 75 that included six bogeys allowed Rahm to power to victory on what would have been Seve Ballesteros’ 66th birthday, leaving Koepka to rue a golden opportunity to add the Green Jacket to his trophy cabinet.
Asked on the ‘Pardon My Take’ podcast if he felt he choked on Masters Sunday, Koepka was brutal in his self-assessment.
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“Yeah, I’d characterise that as a choke,” he said, admittedly with a smile on his face. “It was pretty bad. I mean, come on you’ve got a four-shot lead, all you’ve got to do… I was playing good, I just choked it away. But it’s alright, I’ll figure it out.”
The four-time Major champion was also asked to comment on the controversial pace of play, adding: “It was brutal, it was really bad. I think we waited every shot.”
It wasn’t the first time Koepka has been in contention at the Masters and failed to get over the line. In 2019, he finished a shot behind Tiger Woods after dumping his tee shot into the water on the par-3 12th and racking up a double-bogey, before recovering and missing a 10-footer at the last that would have likely got him into a playoff.
Koepka, who now plays on LIV Golf, also missed a great chance to clinch a third PGA Championship in 2021, losing out to Phil Mickelson who created another slice of history as the oldest player ever to win one of golf’s marquee events.
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