Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka were just two of the many players that had a chance to win The Masters in 2019. Sunday’s final round was one of the greatest in recent memory and included so many memorable moments, which obviously included Tiger ultimately winning his 15th major championship.
But there were so many “what-if” scenarios that played out that afternoon at Augusta National, one of which involves Brooks Koepka at the par-5 15th hole. Had things gone another way, it would have made for an epic moment as Koepka had plans to taunt Tiger down the stretch. This story is just hilarious.
Brooks Koepka led the 2019 Masters after the first two rounds
Brooks Koepka always seems to turn it on at major championships, much like Tiger Woods did in his prime. There’s just something about the spotlight that Koepka craves. Of his seven wins on the PGA Tour (yes, Brooks Koepka only has seven wins), four of them have been major championships. He won back-to-back U.S. Open titles in 2017 and 2018 and then went back-to-back at the PGA Championship in 2018 and 2019. He put himself in a great position to win The Masters in 2019 as well.
Alongside Jordan Spieth and Paul Casey, Brooks Koepka was the last to tee off in the first round at Augusta in 2019 and opened with a brilliant 6-under round of 66, tying him with Bryson DeChambeau atop the leaderboard. He struggled early in his second round on Friday with two bogeys and a double but fought back to shoot 71, putting him at 7-under for the tournament. Midway through the 2019 Masters, he was in a five-way tie for the lead. A group of four, including Tiger Woods, sat just one shot back heading to the weekend.
Tiger got himself into Sunday’s final group with a great third round on Saturday
Francesco Molinari caught fire during Saturday’s third round, at one point making four consecutive birdies on his way to a 6-under round of 66. Meanwhile, Brooks Koepka had another solid day, shooting 69 to get to 10-under for the week. Tiger Woods had a great round on Saturday, posting a 5-under round of 67, which was enough to get him into Sunday’s final threesome with Molinari and Tony Finau, who electrified the Augusta crowd with a third-round 64. This was the leaderboard heading into the final round.
- Francesco Molinari: -13
- Tony Finau: -11
- Tiger Woods: -11
- Brooks Koepka: -10
- Ian Poulter: -9
- Webb Simpson: -9
There was also a group of five at 8-under, which included former world number one Dustin Johnson, who made a charge of his own on Sunday. The stage was set and Brooks Koepka was ready for another big moment, one that apparently included taunting Tiger Woods.
Brooks Koepka was ready to taunt Tiger Woods on the 15th hole of the final round at the 2019 Masters
Sunday at The Masters is always a special day but this one, in particular, felt unique. The fear of inclement weather forced players to tee off earlier than usual and groups were now three instead of the usual two on weekends to save time. Tiger Woods was two shots back of the lead and was in the final trio with Molinari and Finau. Brooks Koepka was right in front of him alongside Webb Simpson and Ian Poulter. Right from the get-go, things got crazy as players moved up and down the leaderboard. Nobody seemed to be able to gain a true advantage and, as per usual, the back nine brought some great drama. But it also nearly brought what would have been one of the most-shown clips in Masters history.
On the famed par-5 15th, Brooks Koepka was at 11-under, just one shot back of Tiger Woods, Francesco Molinari, and Xander Schauffele. Koepka got on the green in two and had a makeable putt for eagle, which would have given him the outright lead at 13-under. He told his caddie, Ricky Elliott, that he was going to make it and then taunt Tiger, who was back in the fairway waiting for the green to clear, when it went in. He recently told the story on Instagram Live.
“On 15 I convinced Ricky I was going to make the putt. You kind of know when it’s going in. He’s such a bad reader of greens anyway, the guy can’t read a putt. I never ask, because he can’t. He’s a great putter, too, that’s the funny part, but we just can’t match speed and line.
“But I remember saying to him ‘I’m going to point at Tiger if I make this thing.’ And still to this day I cannot believe that putt missed. I have no idea how.”Brooks Koepka on his plan to taunt Tiger Woods at The Masters in 2019
Wow! Can you imagine had that putt dropped? Seeing Brooks Koepka taunt Tiger Woods would have been arguably the boldest move in golf history. But he obviously missed the putt and the rest is history. Koepka still birdied the hole, which Tiger did as well, giving him the lead on his own after Molinari took a disastrous double-bogey. Woods took a two-shot lead into the 18th and only needed a bogey to win his first major championship in more than a decade.
If you go back and actually look at Brooks Koepka’s putt on the 15th, it’s really difficult to figure out how it didn’t turn into the hole. And the look on his face is priceless. He really thought that putt was going in. Yet another “what if” moment in sports.