Fowler Tames Bear Trap, Converts 54-Hole Lead



 

Rickie Fowler was back in the winner’s circle on Sunday after he converted a 54-hole lead into a victory for the first time in his career at the Honda Classic. The 28-year-old Fowler started the day with a four-shot lead and an inspirational text from a certain 14-time major champion.

“Tiger texted me last night, as well, and told me to go get it done,” Fowler said. “It’s great to have the backing of my peers. Like I said, it’s motivating to see them play well as well.”

It wasn’t easy, however. Fowler’s lead disappeared quickly after a less-than-stellar 2-over par front nine 38. Three birdies on the back nine, including a huge kick-in birdie at the par-4 16th in the middle of the famous Bear Trap gave him the cushion he needed coming down the stretch to earn his fourth PGA Tour victory, and his first since 2015.

“I started with a four-shot lead and I still won by four, so I didn’t play great, it wasn’t a pretty round, but we got the job done,” Fowler said. “A win’s a win.”

Morgan Hoffmann and Gary Woodland, who made an early charge, finished tied for second. A host of players finished in a tie for fourth, including Jhonatthan Vegas who aced the par-3 15th on Sunday and PGA Tour rookie Wesley Bryan, his second fourth in two consecutive starts.

Rickie joins an elite list of players 28 years of age or younger with four or more PGA Tour wins which includes Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Thomas. He’s also the seventh player in eight official events in which somebody under 30 years-old finished on top of the leaderboard. In other words, the future is bright.

Here’s a look at the final round highlights and leaderboard:

 

While Rickie was busy winning on Sunday, Jason Day was withdrawing from next week’s WGC – Mexico Championship. The current world number two released a statement through the PGA Tour citing health concerns.

“I’m truly disappointed to announce that I won’t be able to play,” Day said. “I have a double ear infection and the flu, which precludes me from preparing for and playing in the tournament. I have heard great things about the Mexico Championship and the golf course. I want to thank the Salinas family for their support of the event. I look forward to teeing it up there next year.”

As it stands now, Day will be the only player in the top-50 in the Official World Golf Ranking that will be missing from the tournament which will be held in Mexico City since moving it from Trump National Doral for the first time in years. 

 

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