Fowler comes up big again

Rickie Fowler (left) being congratulated by Henrik Stenson after he won the Deutsche Bank Championship by one stroke. The American claimed his third PGA Tour title and moved to fifth in the world rankings.
Rickie Fowler (left) being congratulated by Henrik Stenson after he won the Deutsche Bank Championship by one stroke. The American claimed his third PGA Tour title and moved to fifth in the world rankings.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Flawless American takes advantage of late mistake by Henrik Stenson to snatch victory

NORTON (United States) • Rickie Fowler came from behind to win a thrilling final-round duel with Sweden's Henrik Stenson and claim victory in the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday.

The American golfer overturned a three-shot deficit with eight holes to play at TPC Boston to pip Stenson, carding a three-under 68 to finish on 269, one shot clear of the Swede.

Fowler's round contained an eagle, three birdies and two bogeys. But it was an error-free performance on the back nine which enhanced the 26-year-old's growing reputation as a nerveless finisher.

SPECIAL EFFORT

I really just hung in there, put myself in a position, hit some good shots made a couple of good putts to keep myself in it. Henrik made a couple of mistakes, but it's pretty special to fight it out the way I did.

RICKIE FOWLER

Stenson was left ruing a double-bogey on the 16th which ultimately cost him victory.

The Swede, who had started the day one shot clear of Fowler, carded a 70.

"I really just hung in there, put myself in a position, hit some good shots made a couple of good putts to keep myself in it," said Fowler after his third global win of the year, adding to victories at the Players Championship and Scottish Open.

"Henrik made a couple of mistakes, but it's pretty special to fight it out the way I did."

Fowler got off to a dream start, picking up two shots swiftly with an eagle on the par-five second with a monster 33-foot putt. Yet his start was undone by consecutive bogeys on the third and fourth, before a birdie on the seventh put him back to one under for the day.

Stenson had kept his nose in front on the front nine, opening with back-to-back birdies on the first two holes. A bogey on the fourth was cancelled out by a birdie on the fifth to leave him two shots clear of Fowler at the turn. A further birdie at the 10th, with the Swede draining a 14-foot birdie putt, left Stenson three clear.

But momentum looked to have shifted on the 11th when Stenson bogeyed and then watched as Fowler sank a 13-foot putt for birdie.

Stenson hit back on the next hole, the par-four 12th, with his fifth birdie of the day, sinking a 36-footer.

Both men made comfortable pars on the 13th before Fowler produced a jaw-dropping 38-foot birdie putt on the 14th to halve Stenson's lead.

Further pars on 15 left the difference at one shot but drama unfolded on the par-three 16th when Stenson's decision to opt for a seven iron off the tee proved costly after Fowler had struck a six iron to within 23 feet. His club selection left him short of the green and his ball bounced back into the water hazard forcing him to take a drop.

Fowler made par, and, when Stenson missed a 12-foot putt for a bogey four, the American was suddenly in the lead for the first time.

Pars on the 17th left Fowler ahead as they arrived at the 18th. Tension mounted as they missed the green with their approaches. Stenson recovered but missed a long birdie putt, leaving Fowler to two-putt from 10 feet to win.

"I obviously pulled the wrong club out at 16," Stenson said. "I was trying to get the most out of a seven-iron into the wind. I'm a little disappointed, but all in all the game is headed in the right direction."

With the win, Fowler jumped from ninth to fifth in the world rankings. Fellow American Jordan Spieth regained the top ranking, becoming the first player to take over the world No. 1 spot in a week when he missed the cut.

Rory McIlroy dropped back to No. 2 after failing to finish in the top 10 at TPC Boston. The Northern Irishman shot a final round 66 to finish tied-29th on 281.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2015, with the headline 'Fowler comes up big again'. Print Edition | Subscribe