May 13, 2018 / 8:41 PM / 4 months ago

Koepka makes albatross, ties course record 63

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - Brooks Koepka made the second albatross at the par-five 16th in the history of the Players Championship when he holed a “little” six-iron during the final round on Sunday.

May 10, 2018; Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, USA; Brooks Koepka on the 15th green during the first round of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass - Stadium Course. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The feat helped the reigning U.S. Open champion match the course record of nine-under-par 63 at TPC Sawgrass.

Koepka found himself 206 yards from the 16th hole after a 300-yard drive.

With the hole located only six yards from a water hazard to the right, Koepka aimed slightly left and hit a big, high shot that landed softly, took one bounce and disappeared into the cup.

“It was just a three-quarter six-iron,” Koepka said, meaning he swung softly.

May 10, 2018; Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, USA; Brooks Koepka plays a shot from a bunker on the 18th hole during the first round of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass - Stadium Course. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

“We thought it was perfect. I was aiming 15 feet left and just kind of started it a little bit left and it faded with the wind right on line.”

The only previous albatross at the hole was by Spaniard Rafael Cabrera-Bello last year.

Koepka finished tied for 11th at 11-under 277, seven strokes behind winner Webb Simpson.

Koepka was delighted with his performance in his third event back after missing more than three months with a left wrist injury.

“I’ve been knocking on the door,” said the American.

“It’s just sometimes when you’re off for four months you come back, you need to play a little bit, get some rhythm and it’s nice to finally shoot a low one.

“There’s nobody more excited to be here than me. To get back out it felt like it took forever. The days were very long.”

Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Toby Davis / Ian Ransom

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