ORLANDO (Fla.) Brooks Koepka was the first multiple winner of LIV Golf. He closed with a 3-under-68 and made a 4-foot putt on the last hole to win by one over Sebastian Munoz.
LIV Golf-Orlando arrived one week before Koepka, 17 other players from the Saudi-funded league, and they all went to Augusta National for The Masters.
Koepka stated, finishing at 15-under at Orange County National.
Munoz tried to stay with Koepka on the back nine, but he didn’t give up easily. He lost two shots when he hit a bunker shot over the green on the par-5 14th. While he managed to scramble to par, Koepka did make a short birdie.
Munoz reacted by making a birdie putt on the 16th. The par-5 17th hole, which is the most difficult at Orange County, saw the Colombian golfer hit another bunker shot over the green. He missed a 5-foot birdie by Koepka, but he made another par.
The final hole provided some insight into LIV Golf’s team component.
Munoz and Koepka both stood at 40 feet for birdie. Koepka took the first shot and putted from just over 4ft away. Munoz must make birdie to force a play-off. His Torque team held a narrow lead over Koepka’s Smash team.
Munoz could have cost Torque the team championship if he hit the putt too hard or three-putt for Bogey. He was just 4 feet short and Torque won a team competition for Torque’s first time.
“It’s odd, because I knew we were just one stroke ahead of the team, so I couldn’t go any further. Munoz said that I knew I couldn’t be too aggressive.
“He got the person, we got team. It is a tie.
Patrick Reed (68) and Dean Burmester (64) tied for third.
It might not feel like a tie for Koepka’s bank account. He won $4 million. Koepka’s previous LIV title was in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, last year.
He had been battling various injuries for nearly two years and said he feels as though he is healthy for the first time in years as he goes to Augusta.
“You look at everything I’ve been through, I’m finally healthy,” he said. “It’s great to play some good golf. It gives me chills to think about what I can do.
Koepka stated that Orange County National, formerly used by the PGA Tour for its qualifying tournament, was a good test course for the Masters, as the greens were fast and burned in.
He said that he would have hit a few more putts to make it easier during the tight finish with Munoz. “I’m just happy that I won.”